U.S. Stocks Move Sharply Higher On Upbeat Earnings, Optimism About Slower Rate Hikes

After ending Monday’s trading mostly lower, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Tuesday. With the upward move, the S&P 500 closed above 4,000 for the first time since September, while the Dow reached a three-month closing high.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the day just off their highs of the session. The Dow jumped 397.82 points or 1.2 percent to 34,098.10, the Nasdaq surged 149.90 points or 1.4 percent to 11,174.41 and the S&P 500 shot up 53.64 points or 1.4 percent to 4,003.58.

The strength on Wall Street partly reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY).

Shares of Best Buy soared by 12.8 percent after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and raised its full-year guidance.

Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) also spiked after reporting an unexpected third quarter profit on sales that beat analyst estimates.

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz also said the company is “cautiously optimistic” about the holiday shopping season.

On the other hand, shares of Zoom (ZM) came under pressure after the video conferencing platform reported better than expected third quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

Stocks also benefitted from ongoing optimism about the Federal Reserve slowing the pace of interest rate hikes, which persisted despite hawkish comments from some Fed officials.

The Fed’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for December 13-14, with CME Group’s FedWatch Tool currently indicating a 75.8 percent chance of a 50 basis point rate hike and a 24.2 percent chance of another 75 basis point rate hike.

Overall trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

Sector News

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 4.6 percent to its best closing level in well over four months.

The rally by gold stocks came even as the price of the precious metal ended the day roughly flat, with gold for December delivery inching up just $0.30 to $1,739.90 an ounce.

Substantial strength was also visible among energy stocks, which benefitted from a notable increase by the price of crude oil.

With crude for January delivery climbing $0.91 to $80.95 a barrel, the NYSE Arca Oil Index and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index both surged by 3.3 percent.

Natural gas, semiconductor, chemical and housing stocks also saw significant strength on the day, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled b1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.0 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries moved notably higher over the course of the session after ending yesterday’s trading roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, slid 6.7 basis points to 3.758 percent.

Looking Ahead

Reports on durable goods orders and new home sales may attract attention on Wednesday along with the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, although many traders will already have headed out for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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