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Wall St edges higher after mixed data, eyes on Fed By Reuters

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, November 29, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Ankika Biswas and Johann M. Cherian

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indices posted modest gains on Friday as investors assessed a mixed bag of economic data and hoped the US Federal Reserve will opt for a 50 basis point rate hike at its policy meeting next week.

US stocks opened lower after data showed producer prices rose slightly more than expected in November amid a jump in the cost of services, but the trend is declining, with annual inflation at the factory gate posting the smallest increase in 1-1 /2 years shows.

“It’s disappointing and it shows that we’re stuck on the inflation treadmill and I’m not surprised the market is selling out the way it is right now,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield.

On the other hand, consumer confidence improved in December, while inflation expectations fell to a 15-month low, a University of Michigan study found.

Bets that the Fed will raise key rates by 50 basis points next week to 4.25%-4.50% remained largely unchanged after the numbers.

Consumer price data for November, expected Tuesday, will provide new clues about the central bank’s monetary tightening plans.

“The focus will be on where the Fed stops its peak rate cycle… if we see a recession, we may even see a pivot later next year and maybe even rate cuts,” said Brian Klimke, director of investment research at Cetera Financial Group.

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Wall Street’s major indices were set to post weekly losses after two weeks of gains on fears of a possible recession next year on the back of extended US rate hikes and gloomy comments from top corporate executives.

US stocks posted a recent streak of losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims rose slightly last week, suggesting the job market is deteriorating.

At 11:52 a.m. ET, the index was up 58.83 points or 0.17% to 33,840.31, up 12.82 points or 0.32% to 3,976.33, and up 52.33 points or 0.47% to 11,134.33.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indices rose, led by 0.8% gains in technology stocks.

The energy index was on track to post its seventh straight session of losses, the longest streak of losses since December 2018, as oil prices headed for weekly losses on recession concerns. [O/R]

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:) then gained 5.9% Wells Fargo (NYSE:) upgraded the streaming giant’s stock from “equal weight” to “overweight.”

Broadcom (NASDAQ:) Inc rose 3.5% after the chipmaker forecast current quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:) Inc plunged 12.3% after the athletic apparel maker forecast lower-than-expected sales and profits for the holiday season.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co gained 1.4% on a report on plans to announce a deal with United Airlines for 787 Dreamliner orders next week.

Emerging issues outnumbered fallers, with a ratio of 1.15 to 1 on the NYSE and a ratio of 1.06 to 1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index registered five new highs in 52 weeks and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 135 new lows.

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