Saturday, June 22, 2024

US stocks climb in the best ever month as investors bet on Fed’s interest rate cuts

US stocks climbed on Thursday morning, making it the best month this year for the investors who continued to bet on interest-rate cuts after reports of a key reading of consumer inflation which was more or less stable.

Inflation is now 3.2 per cent, considered “cool” by the Federal Reserve which aims for keeping it steady at 2 per cent but is not considering any immediate hike and a cut instead.

Fed’s preferred inflation gauge hit lowest levels in more than 2 years, media reports said.

The US economy is also poised to grow at 5.2 per cent against estimates of 4.9 per cent amid fears of inflation rising, which has been belied and borrowing costs still remain high for consumers due to past interest rate hikes.

Consumer spending is on the high with both Thanksgiving day sales and Cyber Deal Monday topping cumulatively over $15 billion with last minute sales on online retailing touching a record $15 million per minute, reports said.

Dow Jones Industrial Average gained with a jump of about 0.6 per cent, or nearly 200 points, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up about 0.2 per cent. The stock gauges head into the last day of November trading with fresh 2023 closing highs within reach. That comes after a monster rally powered by optimism that the Federal Reserve is done with hiking interest rates, experts at Yahoo Finance said.

Stocks were buoyed by Thursday’s release of the PCE index, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, which came in line with expectations. That could add more fuel to the notion that the Fed is done with hiking this cycle and may cut rates sooner than thought. Thursday also brought a surprise November drop in euro zone inflation to 2.4 per cent, seen as challenging the European Central Bank’s stance that price growth is stubborn.

Attention is also focused on the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday, held online, after being delayed as smaller African producers resisted Saudi Arabia and Russia’s push for more supply cuts. Oil prices rose for a third day following hopes the two sides could reach a deal on policy, with WTI and Brent crude futures both up by about 0.7 per cent.



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