March 1, 2024

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Stocks are slightly higher as Wall Street awaits the Fed's minutes

Stocks are slightly higher as Wall Street awaits the Fed’s minutes

US stocks rose slightly on Wednesday, as investors looked to Federal Reserve meeting minutes for clues to the pace of rate hikes ahead.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98 points, or 0.29%. The S&P 500 rose 0.27% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.45%.

Nordstrom shares fell more than 7% After the supermarket chain reaffirmed its expectations. However, Nordstrom beat earnings and sales expectations in its most recent results, according to Refinitiv consensus forecasts. Tesla rose 2.6% in early trade after Citi lifted shares to neutral from a sell.

Unemployment claims The data came in higher than expected at 240,000 for the week ending November 19 as the economist had expected 225,000, indicating that the labor market may be weakening. Meanwhile, October Durable Goods Orders were stronger than expected, coming in at 1%, more than the expected 0.5%.

“In interpreting the market, this is positive given that the Fed wants to see a rebalancing of the labor market as firms begin to hold leverage on demand for higher wages,” said Quincy Crosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial. “High wages have been consistently passed along with higher prices, which has led to higher inflationary pressures.”

Investors await minutes from the Fed’s latest meeting, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, to get an insight into the central bank’s approach to monetary policy ahead of the December meeting.

Earlier in November, the central bank It approved a fourth consecutive rise of 0.75 percentage points It sent prices to their highest level since 2008. Economists expect a half-percentage-point increase in December, and a smaller price increase next year.

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Wall Street comes off an upbeat session, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 400 points on Tuesday as traders shrugged off fears of a further lockdown in China and looked to post solid earnings. The S&P 500 rose 1.36% to close above the 4,000 level for the first time since September. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.36%.

The markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and close early on Friday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story has been corrected to reflect that Nordstrom has reaffirmed its predictions.