Wall Street rises as Fed signals a slowdown in rate hikes

  • Growth stocks bounce as Treasury yields fall
  • Tesla jumps as Citigroup upgrades
  • Nordstrom falls on reduced earnings forecast
  • Dow Jones Industrial closed at the highest level since April
  • Dow up 0.28%, S&P 500 up 0.59%, Nasdaq up 0.99%

Nov 23 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes closed with solid gains on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting showed interest rate hikes could slow soon.

A “substantial majority” of policymakers agreed that it would “probably soon be appropriate” to slow the pace of interest rate hikes, the minutes showed.

“What the equity markets needed to see for the recent strength to continue was what we got from the minutes,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Since the last Fed meeting on November 1-2, investors have been more optimistic that price pressures have begun to ease, meaning smaller rate hikes could lower inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 95.96 points, or 0.28%, to 34,194.06, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 23.68 points, or 0.59%, to 4,027, 26 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 110.91 points, or 0.99%, to 11,285.32.

Trading volume was thin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, with the US stock market open for half a session on Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday, a mix of economic data led to a drop in the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, helping lift stocks.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week and US business activity contracted for the fifth straight month in November. Consumer confidence increased and home sales exceeded expectations. read more

“I think what you’re seeing is renewed investor enthusiasm fueled by those who see that beautiful light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. And there’s been so much money on the sidelines that it’s quickly coming back into the markets and waiting back into action,” said portfolio manager Moez Kassam of Anson Funds.

Heavyweight stocks including Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) rose 1.00% and 0.72%, respectively.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 7.82% with Citigroup upgrading the electric vehicle maker’s stock to “neutral” from a “sell” rating.

Deere & Co (DE.N) soared 5.03% after the farm equipment maker reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

Nordstrom Inc fell 4.24% as the fashion retailer cut its profit forecast amid steep sales to lure customers worried about inflation.

Volume on US exchanges was 9.25 billion shares, compared with an average of 11.6 billion for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

Issues going up outnumbered going down on the New York Stock Exchange by a ratio of 1.97 to 1; on Nasdaq, a 1.61-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite posted 97 new highs and 126 new lows.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl, Shreyashi Sanyal, and Ankika Biswas; Edited by Richard Chang, Rosalba O’Brien, and Chris Reese

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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