The Nasdaq led gains among major Wall Street indexes on Wednesday, as growth stocks rose after a mixed bag of economic data led to a drop in Treasury yields, while investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.
The minutes, due at 2 p.m. ET, could show how deep any emerging disagreement has begun to run at the Fed as it ends the push to “front-load” rate hikes and begins feeling the way in smaller steps to an eventual stopping point.
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 5.6% after Citigroup upgraded the electric-vehicle maker’s stock to “neutral” from a “sell” rating.
Data showing a more-than-expected rise in Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week helped bring down the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note .
Meanwhile, U.S. business activity contracted for a fifth straight month in November, while consumer sentiment ticked higher. New home sales rose more than expected in October.
The disparate data bolstered expectations of a 50-basis point rate increase at the Fed’s next meeting in December. FEDWATCH
“It’s a perverse move in the markets, that bad news is good news,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
“Then the next step to that is maybe the Fed stops raising rates faster than what they have been saying, and that’s really what is fueling the market.”
Wall Street’s three main indexes are on track for their second straight month of gains, riding on a better-than-feared earnings season, signs of cooling inflation and hopes of smaller rate hikes.
Trading volume is likely to be thin heading into the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, with the U.S. stock market open for a half-session on Friday.
At 12:28 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 10.20 points, or 0.03%, at 34,108.30, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 10.15 points, or 0.25%, at 4,013.73, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 60.84 points, or 0.54%, at 11,235.24.
Gloomy forecasts from a slew of retailers including Dollar Tree(DLTR.O) and Target Corp(TGT.N) indicate inflation’s hold over consumer spending, especially heading into the all important holiday season.
Autodesk Inc (ADSK.O) slipped 5.3% after cutting forecasts for annual billing and free cash flow.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.29-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 21 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 76 new highs and 97 new lows.