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US stocks rise as private payroll data comes in light, spurring more hope of Fed rate cuts

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A trader works on the floor of the NYSE in New YorkThomson Reuters
  • US stocks rose on Wednesday as investors took in cooler private payrolls data.

  • ADP said firms added just 103,000 jobs last month, lower than expected.

  • Investors have raised their expectations for a coming Fed rate cut early next year.

US stocks ticked higher on Wednesday as investors took in the latest private payrolls data and remained optimistic about monetary easing from the Federal Reserve.

Companies added 103,000 jobs in November, according to ADP's latest employment report, lower than the 128,000 jobs expected and down from 113,000 in the prior month. Meanwhile, pay rose 5.6% year over year, the smallest gain since September 2021.

While the ADP data isn't always a good indicator of the Labor Department's report, which is due Friday, a cooling job market is good news for stocks.

Central bankers have cited an overly hot labor market a a reason why interest rates may need to stay higher-for-longer, but slower hiring and wage growth could push the Fed to trim interest rates next year. Markets are now pricing in a 62% chance the Fed could lower rates by March, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Wednesday: 

Here's what else is going on today: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 2.18% to $70.78 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped 1.94% to $75.70 a barrel.

  • Gold ticked 0.5% higher to $2,029.30 per ounce.

  • The 10-year Treasury yield dropped one basis point to 4.157%.

  • Bitcoin rallied 5.41% to to $44,193.

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