US stocks rise to resume rally as investors assess Fed comments and parse economic data

  • Stocks resumed their rally on Wednesday as investors took in the latest Fed comments.

  • Fed officials pointed to falling inflation and warned of the risks of too-restrictive interest rates.

  • Markets have raised their expectations for a Fed rate cut as soon as the first quarter of 2024.

US stocks moved higher on Wednesday, resuming their November rally as traders sifted through the latest comments from Federal Reserve officials and parsed new economic data.

Major indexes rose in early-morning trading as bond yields eased, with the on the 10-year US Treasury slipping six basis-points to about 4.276%.

Investors are digesting the latest comments from Fed officials, who suggested interest rate hikes are probably done, and cuts could be a near-future reality for markets. Central bankers have "no reason" to keep interest rates high if inflation continues to fall, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said Tuesday.

Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee added that the Fed risked keeping interest rates restrictive for too long, which experts say could push the economy into a recession.

"Anybody who cooks a turkey knows that you got to pull it out of the oven before it's to the point where you want it to be, because it's going to have residual heat," Goolsbee said.

Investors are pricing in a 46% chance the Fed could trim interest rates by March of next year, up from 14% chance in late October, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Consumers have also turned more positive on the state of the economy, with the Consumer Confidence Index edging higher to 102 in November, up from the revised reading of 99 in October.

GDP also saw a small upwards revision, with the economy growing at an estimated 5.2% pace last quarter, up from the originally estimated 4.9%, the Commerce Department said.

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

Here's what else happened today:

In commodities, bonds and crypto:

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.14% to $77.28 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, inched higher 0.99% to $82.28.

  • Gold slipped 0.09% to $2,039.76 per ounce.

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury slid six basis-points to about 4.276%.

  • Bitcoin climbed 1.76% to $38,049.

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