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US open: Stocks higher as investors seem to shrug off FOMC minutes

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 22 Nov 2023

US open: Stocks higher as investors seem to shrug off FOMC minutes

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were in the green early on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed that monetary officials were in no rush to start cutting interest rates.
As of 1530 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.43% at 35,237.91, while the S&P 500 was 0.46% stronger at 4,558.94 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.59% firmer at 14,284.17.

The Dow opened 149.62 points higher on Wednesday, reversing losses recorded in the previous session when minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting on 1 November uncovered discussions about leaving policy "at a restrictive stance for some time" until inflation moves down sustainably to the 2% target, with the first interest rate cut predicted to come in September 2024.

"The Fed has not completely ruled out additional rate hikes, noting that further tightening would be appropriate 'if' progress towards the 2% inflation target was 'insufficient', said Michael Pearce, economist at Oxford Economics. "However, the minutes made clear that the Fed is taking a cautious approach, with participants generally judging that the risks had 'become more two-sided'."

As far as Wednesday was concerned, mortgage applications grew 3% week-on-week as interest rates continued to drop, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The growth in applications comes as the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 7.41% from 7.61%.

Elsewhere on the macro front, the US jobs market tightened unexpectedly last week, according to the Department of Labor, as the number of initial unemployment claims dropped by 24,000 over the week ending on 18 November to reach 209,000. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average fell by 750 to 220,000, while secondary unemployment claims dipped by 22,000 to approximately 1.84m.

On another note, new orders for manufactured durable goods plummeted 5.4% month-on-month in October, reversing a 4.0% surge seen in September and easily beating market expectations of a 3.1% drop, according to the Census Bureau. The drop was the second-largest fall since April 2020, mainly driven by reduced demand for transportation equipment.

Finally, the University of Michigan's November consumer sentiment index was revised sharply higher in November to 61.3, up from a preliminary reading of 60.4 but was still the fourth consecutive month of falls in consumer sentiment and the lowest level seen since May, as more-favourable current assessments and expectations of personal finances were offset by a marked deterioration in expected business conditions.

In the corporate space, chipmaker Nvidia posted third-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue that beat expectations after the close, but also warned that export restrictions on China would impact the group in the fourth quarter, while agricultural equipment maker Deere fell in early trading after issuing weaker-than-expected guidance for FY24.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

Dow Jones - Risers

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $151.11 1.00%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $307.99 0.87%
3M Co. (MMM) $94.81 0.87%
American Express Co. (AXP) $163.55 0.78%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $58.46 0.73%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $375.73 0.71%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $95.11 0.70%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $543.11 0.65%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $37.49 0.64%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $191.82 0.62%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $243.40 -2.41%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $142.32 -1.19%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $20.75 -1.10%
Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $51.38 -0.68%
Walmart Inc. (WMT) $154.82 -0.66%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $101.58 -0.62%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $224.20 -0.05%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $151.09 -0.02%
Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $0.00 0.00%
Boeing Co. (BA) $218.91 0.29%

S&P 500 - Risers

CenturyLink Inc. (LUMN) $1.38 4.17%
HP Inc (HPQ) $29.01 4.09%
United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL) $40.79 3.42%
Kohls Corp. (KSS) $23.50 3.41%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $12.54 3.38%
Carnival Corp. (CCL) $14.67 3.31%
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) $14.75 2.93%
Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) $37.47 2.21%
Royal Caribbean Cr (RCL) $107.10 2.17%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $146.95 2.12%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Deere & Co. (DE) $356.47 -6.84%
Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) $14.06 -5.67%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $205.47 -5.60%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $479.24 -4.04%
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.45 -3.40%
Apache Corp. (APA) $35.45 -3.19%
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) $51.35 -2.60%
Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP) $37.04 -2.58%
Eog Resources Inc. (EOG) $121.07 -2.56%
Halliburton Co. (HAL) $37.24 -2.54%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $35.29 7.67%
Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $117.59 3.68%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $12.54 3.38%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $146.95 2.12%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $41.21 2.03%
Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $97.76 1.87%
Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,523.18 1.85%
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $218.95 1.70%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $3.71 1.64%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $316.62 1.54%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $205.47 -5.60%
Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $8.90 -4.56%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $479.24 -4.04%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $235.13 -2.52%
Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $0.64 -1.89%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $20.75 -1.10%
PACCAR Inc. (PCAR) $90.61 -0.90%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $353.10 -0.47%
Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $976.72 -0.46%
Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $87.71 -0.40%


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