Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Wall Street Rises After Upbeat Economic Data, Recovery in Megacaps

U.S. stock indexes rose on Tuesday, as megacap stocks recovered and upbeat capital goods orders data allayed concerns about a slowing U.S. economy in the face of Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.

A Commerce Department report showed orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 0.7 percent in May, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast orders would remain unchanged.

New home sales and consumer confidence data are due later in the day.

“The sentiment is building that the Fed is certainly near the end of its rate hike regime, and markets will be looking for any indication that will help resolve the ambiguity that the Fed presented in the last meeting,” said Peter Andersen, founder of Andersen Capital Management.

Market participants are also focusing on the European Central Bank Forum in Sintra, Portugal where several key policymakers including Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak this week.

A winning run on Wall Street came to a halt last week after Powell said there were more rate hikes on the cards. Traders have baked in a 76.9 percent chance the Fed will raise interest rates by 25 bps to 5.25 percent–5.50 percent range at its July meeting, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

Despite the recent market weakness, the main U.S. stock indexes are set to record second-quarter gains, powered by a rally in growth stocks, upbeat earnings reports, and hopes that the Fed will soon end its monetary tightening campaign.

At 9:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 71.30 points, or 0.21 percent, at 33,786.01, the S&P 500 was up 17.23 points, or 0.40 percent, at 4,346.05, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 84.63 points, or 0.63 percent, at 13,420.40.

Market heavyweights such as Amazon, Tesla, and Nvidia rose about 1 percent each, while Meta Platforms added 2.0 percent after Citigroup raised its price target on the stock to the highest on Wall Street.

Snowflake climbed 2.6 percent after the cloud data analytics company announced partnership with Nvidia to allow customers to build AI models using their own data.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese firms such as Alibaba Group and JD.com rose about 2 percent after Chinese Premier Li Qiang announced stimulus plans and said economic growth in the second quarter will be higher than the first.

Google-parent Alphabet slipped 0.8 percent after Bernstein downgraded the stock to “market perform.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance fell 8.5 percent as the pharmacy chain cut its fiscal year profit forecast on lower demand for COVID-19 tests and vaccines.

Lordstown Motors slumped 45.4 percent as the U.S. electric truck manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection and put itself up for sale after it failed to resolve a dispute over a promised investment from Foxconn.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.65-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and 1.15-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 48 new lows.

By Sruthi Shankar

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