AI Frenzy Accounts for All of S&P 500 Gain in 2023, SocGen Says

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(Bloomberg) -- The investing frenzy around artificial intelligence has been so strong that without it, US stocks would be down for the year, according to Societe Generale SA strategist Manish Kabra.

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AI-hungry investors have propelled shares of Nvidia Corp., which makes the chips needed for complex AI computing tasks, up by 96% this year. They’ve also powered rallies at Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. as the tech behemoths race to add AI features to their products and services.

The three stocks are among the biggest contributors to the S&P 500’s 7.6% gain in 2023. The index rose 0.3% on Friday.

“The AI boom and hype is strong,” London-based Kabra wrote in a note Friday. “So strong that without the AI-popular stocks, S&P 500 would be down 2% this year.”

To trade the “AI hype,” investors should own defensive-growth stocks held within the top AI exchange-traded funds, such as Microsoft, Accenture Plc or software company ServiceNow Inc., he wrote.

(Adds S&P 500 move in third paragraph.)

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