Stocks edge higher as Wall Street awaits Fed minutes

Kevin Simpson says market won't see 'everything's normal' in first half of 2023

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday as investors focused on the minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting for clues on the pace of future rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130 points, or 0.38%. The S&P 500 rose 0.45% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.69%.

Shares of Nordstrom fell more than 7% after the department store chain reiterated its forecast. Nordstrom, however, beat profit and sales expectations in its latest results, according to consensus estimates on Refinitiv. Tesla rose 2.6% in early trade after Citigroup upgraded the stock to neutral from sell.

Initial jobless claims came in higher than expected at 240,000 for the week ended Nov. 10. On the 19th, economists expected 225,000, which indicates that the labor market may be weakening. But meanwhile, Durable Goods Orders came in stronger than expected in October at 1%, beating expectations for 0.5%.

“In the market’s interpretation, this is positive as the Fed wants to see a rebalancing of the labor market and businesses start to have leverage over the demand for higher wages,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial. Higher prices lead to higher inflationary pressures and wage increases have been passed on.”

Investors are awaiting the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due to be released on Wednesday afternoon, to get an idea of ​​the central bank’s monetary policy approach ahead of its December meeting.

In early November, the central bank approved a fourth consecutive rate hike of 0.75 percentage points, bringing rates to their highest level since 2008. Economists forecast a 0.5 percentage point hike in December and a smaller hike next year.

Wall Street had an upbeat session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging nearly 400 points on Tuesday, as traders shrugged off worries about further lockdowns in China and looked ahead to strong earnings. The S&P 500 rose 1.36%, closing above 4,000 for the first time since September. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.36%.

Markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday and will be closed earlier on Friday.

Correction: A previous version of this story has been corrected to reflect that Nordstrom reiterated its forecast.

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