US Big-Tech Mania Drives Developed-Market Stocks to Record

A roughly $61 trillion global benchmark of developed-market equities rose to an all-time high on Wednesday, with Wall Street’s technology behemoths leading the way.

The MSCI World Index, which includes almost 1,500 stocks across 23 developed markets, climbed 0.5% to 3,262 at 10:17 a.m. in New York. It surpassed its closing peak set Jan. 4, 2022, following record-setting gains in the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq 100 Stock Index. The US stock market was a major driver of the MSCI gauge’s 16% rally over the past 12 months.

Back to Record

Optimism around the US economy and outsized gains in the country’s Big Tech firms, powered by artificial intelligence enthusiasm, helped underpin the climb, with growing expectations that the Federal Reserve will ease policy this year accelerating the advance since late 2023. Even as some policymakers temper bets that cuts are imminent, the appetite for stocks has remained intact, with the S&P 500 up 4.6% this year.

The US equity benchmark climbed 0.7% on Wednesday, led by communications-services and information-technology stocks. The gauge is again poised for a record close. The Nasdaq 100 was up 1%, extending an advance after megacap technology companies delivered solid results this earnings season and as AI excitement persists. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4%.

Recent data has also affirmed the strength of the US economy, with payrolls rising the most in a year last month and the service sector expanding at the fastest pace in four months after coming close to stagnating at the end of 2023.