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Growth stocks boost Wall Street ahead of Fed minutes

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Wednesday as growth stocks gained 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.

Heavyweight stocks including Apple Inc (AAPL.O) Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Inc (AMZN.O) and Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) rose between 0.4% and 0.7%.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 5.2%, outperforming its peers, after Citigroup upgraded the electric-vehicle maker’s stock to “neutral” from a “sell” rating.

The stocks benefited from a drop in yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note after a more-than-expected rise in Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week.

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

Investors now await details from latest rate-setting meeting, due at 2 p.m. ET, which 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.

“For the most part, they’re (investors) optimistic that the Fed members are probably going to show signs that the pace of rate hikes might decrease,” said Brian Klimke, investment director at Cetera Investment Management LLC.

“The market is looking for clues of a pivot. They really want to see some sort of sign that the Fed understands that inflation might be easing.”

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 10:23 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 79.42 points, or 0.23%, at 34,177.52, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 16.28 points, or 0.41%, at 4,019.86, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 88.81 points, or 0.79%, at 11,263.21.

Deere & Co (DE.N) jumped 7.1% to lead the gains on S&P 500 as the farm equipment maker reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on strong sales powered by price hikes.

Shares of Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) fell 7.8% after the fashion retailer cut its profit forecast amid steep markdowns to attract inflation-wary customers.

The S&P 500 energy (.SPNY) sector index fell 1.4% tracking lower oil prices after the Group of Seven nations looked at a price cap on Russian oil.

Autodesk Inc slipped 6.8% after the software and services provider guided for a lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.71-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.73-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 new highs and 73 new lows.

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