Wall St rises as megacaps gain, yields slip ahead of key inflation data
By Shristi Achar A and Amruta Khandekar
(Reuters) -Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Friday as megacaps including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) gained ahead of a fresh inflation reading next week that will provide further clues on the U.S. interest rate trajectory.
U.S. Treasury yields edged lower on Friday, helping boost major growth stocks, with Microsoft leading gains, up 1.9%, and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) advancing nearly 1%.
Shares of Apple rose 1.2% after a two-day selloff following news that Beijing had ordered its central government employees in recent weeks to stop using iPhones at workplaces.
Wall Street analysts see a small hit to Apple’s revenue this year from the curbs, with Morgan Stanley saying the worst case scenario was a 4% drop.
The S&P 500 information technology sector rose 0.6% while energy stocks rose 1.3% to their highest level in over seven months, tracking an uptick in crude prices. [O/R]
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have shed more than 1% this week on concerns the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer following stronger-than-expected services activity data and a fall in weekly jobless claims.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading for August is due on Sept. 13, while the Federal Reserve’s policy decision is scheduled for Sept. 20.
“My expectation is that the CPI print could come in higher than expected (with) the price of oil pushing higher,” said Phil Blancato, chief executive officer of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management.
“We have a problem where ultimately the Fed may be pushed into a corner, and while they might take a pause because of the lag effect, I don’t think they’re done.”
Traders’ odds for interest rates staying at current levels in September stood at 95%, while they have priced in a near 55% chance for a pause in rate hikes in the November meeting, according to CME FedWatch Tool.
Mixed comments from Fed officials have also added to uncertainty about the central bank’s next policy moves.
New York Fed President John Williams kept his options open over future interest rate path while Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan said though it “could be appropriate” to skip a rate hike in the upcoming meeting, more policy tightening might be needed.
At 11:47 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 101.13 points, or 0.29%, at 34,601.86, the S&P 500 was up 16.12 points, or 0.36%, at 4,467.26, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 65.25 points, or 0.47%, at 13,814.08.
Among other stocks, Kroger (NYSE:KR) rose 3.2% after the retailer beat estimates for quarterly adjusted profit.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) added 3.1% after BofA Securities upgraded the drugmaker to “buy” from “neutral.”
GameStop (NYSE:GME) fell 6.6% on a report that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the videogame retailer’s chairman, Ryan Cohen.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.64-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.01-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 recorded 13 new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq posted 31 new highs and 160 new lows.