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For My Money, USA TODAY
Stocks rose on Wall Street and solid earnings helped jolt a mix of retailers higher ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 397.82 points, or 1.18%, higher at 34,098.10. The S&P 500 rose 1.36% to close at 4,003.58, its first close above the 4,000 level since September. The Nasdaq Composite also gained 1.36% to 11,174.41.
Financial and technology companies gained ground. Energy stocks rose along with oil prices. Treasury yields slipped.
Best Buy soared on better-than-expected results and outlook.
Investors have very little news to review this week, but several retailers and technology companies are closing out the latest round of corporate earnings with their financial results. Best Buy surged after the electronics retailer did better than analysts expected and said a decline in sales for the year will not be as bad as it had projected earlier.
Dell Technologies rose 5.9% after the computer maker reported strong third-quarter profit and revenue. Zoom Video slumped 5.2% after giving investors a weak profit and revenue forecast.
Several retailers made particularly strong gains following solid financial results. Abercrombie & Fitch surged 19.9% and American Eagle jumped 17%.
Federal Reserve hopes
Inflation and the Federal Reserve’s fight to tame it remains the main concern for Wall Street. The central bank on Wednesday will release minutes from its latest policy meeting, potentially giving investors more insight into its decision-making process.
Wall Street has been hoping that the central bank might ease up on its aggressive rate increases. Its benchmark rate currently stands at 3.75% to 4%, up from close to zero in March.
The Fed has warned that it may have to ultimately raise rates to previously unanticipated level to cool the hottest inflation in decades. That strategy raises the risk that it could go too far in slowing economic growth and bring on a recession.
Fed slowdown?: Fed makes another rate hike but hints at a pullback
Recession fears linger
Worries about a recession continue hanging over the global economy and markets.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is forecasting modest economic growth globally this year and more tepid growth in 2023. Russia’s war in Ukraine continues threatening energy supplies and key food commodities including wheat. A resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China continues threatening the world’s second-largest economy and global supply chains.
“In 2023, we expect less pain but also no gain,” stated a report from Goldman Sachs looking ahead to the new year.
The investment bank expects inflation and high interest rates to essentially flatten out corporate earnings and hold the broader stock market at its current levels, with the S&P 500 ending 2023 where it currently sits at around 4,000 points.