Wall Street rises as Fed signals slowing rate hikes

  • Growth stocks rebound as Treasury yields fall
  • Tesla leaps as Citigroup modernizes
  • 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) – Major Wall Street indexes ended Wednesday with strong gains after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting showed interest rate hikes may soon slow.

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

“What the stock markets needed to see for the recent strength to continue is 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 11. 1-2, investors were more optimistic that price pressures have started to ease, meaning lower rate hikes could reduce 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 weak ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, with the U.S. stock market open for a half session on Friday.

Earlier Wednesday, a mixed bag of economic data sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note lower, helping to push stocks higher.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week and business activity in the United States contracted for a fifth consecutive month in November. Consumer confidence rose and home sales exceeded expectations. Read more

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

Stocks of heavyweights 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% as Citigroup moved the electric vehicle maker’s stock to “neutral” from a “sell” rating.

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

Nordstrom Inc fell 4.24% as the fashion retailer slashed its profit forecast amid heavy markdowns to attract inflation-conscious customers.

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

Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.97 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.61 to 1 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; Editing by Richard Chang, Rosalba O’Brien and Chris Reese

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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