Wall Street gains on boost from megacaps ahead of key economic data

New York, Aug. 28 (BNA): Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Monday as a pullback in Treasury yields boosted megacap growth stocks ahead of key inflation and jobs data this week that will offer more clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate path.

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Tesla rose between 0.5% and 1.3%, as the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note slipped to 4.20%.

The S&P 500 communication services and technology sectors led gains among the 11 major S&P sub-indexes, rising 1.2% and 0.8% respectively.

Stocks ended a volatile session higher on Friday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole meet said the U.S. central bank may need to raise interest rates further, Reuters reported.

Focus now shifts to a report on the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, which is set to be released on Thursday and the non-farm payrolls data due on Friday.

“Investors were looking for perhaps more guidance or hints about the Fed’s next step and unfortunately there were no new thoughts or strategies disclosed,” Peter Andersen, founder of Andersen Capital Management, said.

“The market will probably start off maybe slightly positive, but in a holding pattern until investors can digest these important data releases this week.”

The readings are set to come at a time when surprising strength in the U.S. economy drove up expectations of interest rates staying higher for longer.

Traders’ bets of a pause in tightening by the Fed were unchanged for the September meeting, while bets of a 25-basis point interest rate hike in November rose to nearly 50% from 38% a week earlier, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

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China halved the stamp duty on stock trading effective Monday to boost its ailing market, sending U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies, including PDD Holdings, JD.com, Baidu, and Alibaba up between 1.0% and 2.8%.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she raised concerns about a number of U.S. business issues including Intel and Micron with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. Micron and Intel’s shares gained 3.4% and 1.2%, respectively.

At 9:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 262.87 points, or 0.77%, at 34,609.77, the S&P 500 was up 30.97 points, or 0.70%, at 4,436.68, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 124.67 points, or 0.92%, at 13,715.31.

3M jumped 6.4% on a report that the conglomerate has tentatively agreed to pay more than $5.5 billion to resolve over 300,000 lawsuits claiming it sold the U.S. military defective combat earplugs.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese EV maker Xpeng gained 2.3% after the company said it would buy Didi’s electric car development business in a deal worth up to $744 million.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission suspended its challenge of Amgen’s $27.8 billion purchase of Horizon Therapeutics. Horizon’s shares rose 5.8%.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 5.47-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.95-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 40 new lows.


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