The and Nasdaq indices closed higher on Wednesday, following data that showed a moderate increase in consumer prices in August. This has solidified expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates unchanged in September. The S&P 500 rose by 0.12% to finish the session at 4,467.44 points, while the Nasdaq saw a gain of 0.29% to end at 13,813.59 points.
Megacap growth stocks including Tesla (NASDAQ:), Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:), Microsoft (NASDAQ:), and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) each recorded gains over 1%. However, Apple (NASDAQ:) experienced a decrease of 1.2%, marking its second day of decline after it unveiled new iPhones on Tuesday without changing prices.
Meanwhile, the fell slightly by 0.20% to 34,575.53 points. The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index rose by 0.9%, buoyed by Ford Motor (NYSE:)’s announcement of plans to double the production of its hybrid F-150 pickup trucks in 2024, which led to a rally of 1.5% in its stocks.
August’s data revealed that consumer prices increased at their fastest pace in 14 months due to a surge in gasoline prices. However, the annual rise in underlying inflation was the smallest seen in almost two years. Gasoline prices peaked at $3.984 per gallon in the third week of August, compared with $3.676 per gallon during the same period in July.
Despite this increase, expectations for interest rate hikes remain uncertain for the rest of the year due to the moderate inflation figures. “I don’t think the Fed wants to throw a shock and do a 25-basis-point hike when the expectations are that they won’t, but rate hikes are not completely off the table for the rest of the year,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investment.
Interest rate traders currently see a 97% chance of the Fed holding rates in September, and a 61% likelihood of a pause in November, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. This is largely due to the persistence of services inflation, which has kept alive the prospects of a November hike.
This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.
Read the full article here