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US stocks mixed after key PCE inflation data; DJIA soars over 200 points

US stocks mixed after key PCE inflation data; DJIA soars over 200 points

LANGKATODAY - U.S. stock futures traded in a mixed fashion Thursday, as a largely positive month comes to a close with investors digesting the release of the latest important inflation data.

By 09:45 ET (14:45 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 240 points, or 0.7%, the S&P 500 traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher, while the NASDAQ Composite dropped 25 points, or 0.2%.

The main Wall Street indices are on course post hefty gains this November. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is on track to gain 7.2%, which would be its best month since October last year. The broad-based S&P 500 is up 8.5% in November, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has advanced nearly 11% - both set for their best monthly performances since July 2022.

PCE inflation data due

These strong monthly gains have been largely generated by data showing inflation may be cooling in the U.S., fueling expectations that the Federal Reserve could soon begin to bring interest rates back down from over two-decade highs.

The October personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed's preferred measure of inflation, added to these hopes, rising at a slower rate on an annual basis in October compared to the prior month, in the latest sign that the central bank's long-standing campaign of interest rate hikes may be working to corral price growth.

The overall figure rose by 3.0% annually, decelerating from 3.4% in September thanks in large part to a drop in energy prices. On a monthly basis, the measure stood at 0.0%, down from an uptick of 0.4% in the prior month. Economists expected readings of 3.0% year-on-year and 0.1% month-on-month.

Fed officials in spotlight

Investors will also be listening to comments from influential Fed New York President Williams later on Thursday, ahead of Q&A appearance by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

Earlier this week Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, normally seen as a hawkish voice at the Fed, had flagged the possibility that officials "could start lowering" interest rates if inflation continues to retreat.

A pause in rate hikes has been fully priced in for the upcoming December meeting, and focus has increasingly shifted towards the potential for rate cuts next year.

Microsoft linked with OpenAI board

in the corporate sector, Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) both posted strong gains after reporting better than expected numbers after the close Wednesday.

Ford (NYSE:F) stock fell 0.7% after the auto giant estimated the cost of a new labor deal at $8.8 billion and cut its full-year profit forecast due to lost production from a lengthy strike at its U.S. plants.

Additionally, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will take a spot on OpenAI's board of directors, according to returning Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman.

Oil gains ahead of OPEC+ decision

Oil prices rose Thursday amid optimism that OPEC+ will cut future production levels, overshadowing weaker-than-expected Chinese activity data as well as a sustained rise in U.S. inventories.

By 09:45 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% higher at $78.88 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 1.2% to $83.88 a barrel.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, is meeting , and the market is still expecting news of additional production cuts even though the gathering was delayed from Sunday after disagreements between members over output targets.

Still, gains have been limited by signs of slackening growth in China, the world’s top oil importer, while U.S. crude inventories recorded an unexpected 1.6 million barrel build in the week to Nov. 24.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.6% to $2,035.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.6% lower at 1.0908.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

Source: investing

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