Stocks rise against backdrop of Fed comments, China COVID surge

U.S. stocks edged higher in an uneventful, pre-Thanksgiving trading session on Tuesday after starting the week lower.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed 1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) climbed 300 points, or about 0.9%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC ) added 0.8%.

Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said Tuesday that restoring price stability remains a top priority for her and other members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets monetary policy.

“We are committed to using our tools to put inflation on a steady downward path to 2%,” she said, at an event organized by her bank.

Master’s counterpart in St.

The talks followed comments by San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly on Monday, who said officials could raise the US central bank’s key policy rate to 5% if inflation does not ease. Daly also noted that it is “too early” to write off a 75 basis point hike in December, and “nothing is off the table.”

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In commodity markets, oil pared losses on Monday after hitting January lows on fears that fresh shutdowns in China and reported output increases by Saudi Arabia and OPEC could weigh on demand. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has since ruled out any production increases, helping to push oil back from the decline. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose to $81 per barrel after hitting $75 on Monday.

A pandemic prevention worker wears a protective suit outside an apartment complex that has been under lockdown as outbreaks of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue in Beijing, China, Nov. 12, 2022.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A pandemic prevention worker wears a protective suit outside an apartment complex that has been under lockdown as outbreaks of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue in Beijing, China, Nov. 12, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By company, shares of Zoom Video Communications ( ZM ) fell almost 8% after the video-conferencing platform cut its full-year earnings outlook and other forecasts due to a lack of demand for online meetings.

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A sharp rise in COVID cases across China has prompted a wave of new restrictions for the world’s largest economy just weeks after investors cheered the end of strict lockdowns in the country.

Susannah Streeter, an investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said in a note on Tuesday: “The impact of COVID is still weighing on the Chinese economy, threatening to cause new disruptions to supply chains and demand for goods.”

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The S&P 500 began the Thanksgiving holiday week shorter than in previous years. According to data from Bespoke Investment Group, the week of Thanksgiving Monday saw the index trade slightly lower than historically, with a 0.01% decline. In years where the index has declined 10% or more year-to-date, such as 2022, performance has been more positive, with an average gain of 0.37%.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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