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Wall St Ends Sharply Higher, With a Boost From Chips

Wall St Ends Sharply Higher, With a Boost From Chips
(AP)

Thursday, 21 December 2023 04:07 PM EST

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, winning back much of the previous day's losses, as economic data fueled optimism that the Federal Reserve would ease monetary policy and revived investor risk appetite.

All three major U.S. stock posted gains as chips surged, led by Micron Technology after its better-than-expected quarterly forecast, putting the tech-heavy Nasdaq out front.

The rally gained momentum as the session drew to a close.

Data on Thursday showed third-quarter U.S. economic growth was not as robust as originally stated, and cracks are appearing in the tight labor market, which the Fed considers an obstacle to cooling inflation.

"The fact that the third-quarter GDP number wasn't revised upward, and in fact was cut, is giving investors comfort that the path the Fed is on, which they enunciated last week, isn't going change any time soon," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

U.S. stocks abruptly sank late Wednesday afternoon, snapping a multi-session rally, in a sell-off possibly accelerated by hedging activity associated with short-dated option trades.

"The investor narrative yesterday was about profit taking on the heels of a very long consistent holiday rally," said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments in New York.

"Investors would be prudent to buy on these dips," Bassuk said, adding that he believes stocks "will end the year strongly."

Financial markets are pricing in a 71.3% likelihood that the U.S. central bank will reduce the Fed funds target rate by 25 basis points as soon as March, according to CME's FedWatch tool.

The market is awaiting the Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report due on Friday, which will cover income growth, consumer spending and inflation.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 322.16 points, or 0.87%, to 37,404.16, the S&P 500 gained 48.37 points, or 1.03%, to 4,746.72 and the Nasdaq Composite added 185.92 points, or 1.26%, to 14,963.87.

Micron Technology forecast quarterly revenue above market estimates, and its shares jumped on signs of a memory chip recovery in 2024 after one of the most significant downturns in years.

The Philadelphia SE semiconductor index housing chip stocks handily outperformed the broader market.

Shares of U.S. electric vehicle makers Tesla, Lucid Group and Rivian Automotive jumped after a report said the United States was considering tariff hikes on Chinese EV manufacturers.

Triumph Group soared after the aerospace supplier said it would sell its components aftermarket business to AAR Corp for $725 million.

U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled after the company's fourth-quarter revenue estimates landed below expectations.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, winning back much of the previous day's losses, as economic data fueled optimism that the Federal Reserve would ease monetary policy and revived investor risk appetite.
financial markets
420
2023-07-21
Thursday, 21 December 2023 04:07 PM
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