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US STOCKS-Wall Street rises as Fed signals rate hikes may slow

Wall Street’s main indexes edged higher on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s November meeting showed interest rate hikes may slow soon.

November 24, 2022
By Carolina Mandl and Sinéad Carew
24 November 2022

By Carolina Mandl and Sinéad Carew

Nov 23 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes edged
higher on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s
November meeting showed interest rate hikes may slow soon.

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

“What 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 Fed’s last meeting on Nov. 1-2, investors have
been more optimistic that price pressure has started to ease,
signaling smaller rate hikes could curtail inflation.

“What I think 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 has been so much money on
the sidelines that is rushing back into the markets and waiting
to get back into the action,” said portfolio manager Moez
Kassam, at Anson Funds.

At 2:51 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 136.27 points, or 0.4%, to 34,234.37, the S&P 500
gained 25.74 points, or 0.64%, to 4,029.32 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 121.15 points, or 1.08%, to
11,295.56.11,295.56

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

Earlier in the morning, a mixed bag of economic data led to
a drop in yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, helping
drive stocks up.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits rose more than expected last week and U.S. business
activity contracted for a fifth straight month in November.
Consumer sentiment ticked higher and home sales rose above
expectations.

Heavyweight stocks, including Amazon.com Inc and
Meta Platforms Inc, rose nearly 1%.

Tesla Inc jumped 7.4%, with Citigroup upgrading the
electric-vehicle maker’s stock to “neutral” from a “sell”
rating.

Deere & Co jumped 5.5% after the farm equipment maker
reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

Nordstrom Inc fell 4.5% as the fashion retailer cut
its profit forecast amid steep markdowns to attract
inflation-wary customers.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.81-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.66-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 82 new highs and 112 new lows.
(Reporting by Carolina Mandl, Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika
Biswas; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Richard Chang and Rosalba
O’Brien)

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