Wall St rallies over 1% on bets of peak US interest rates

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Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 27, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Acquire Licensing Rights

  • Qualcomm gains as Q1 forecast tops estimates
  • Starbucks rises on upbeat quarterly results
  • PayPal up on profit forecast raise
  • Weekly jobless claims stronger than expected
  • Indexes up: Dow 1.21%, S&P 1.54%, Nasdaq 1.47%

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main stock indexes rallied on Thursday on hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve had reached the end of its tightening campaign, while a raft of upbeat corporate updates added to the bullish mood.

The Fed held interest rates steady on Wednesday as expected, and while Chair Jerome Powell left the door open to further tightening he also acknowledged the impact of a recent surge in bond yields on the economy.

The comments, which were perceived to be dovish, sent longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields tumbling to three-week lows.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was last down 13.4 basis points to 4.657%, tracking its biggest one-day decline since August.

"He (Powell) basically signaled that this is the top for interest rates.The next change in interest rates from here will likely be lower," said David Waddell, CEO at Waddell & Associates.

"I don't think they will cut within the first six months of next year unless things deteriorate much faster than expected."

Traders' bets that the Fed will hold rates steady in December rose to 85.5% from 79.5% the previous day, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

All three major stock indexes touched their highest level since Oct. 19.

Mega-cap growth stocks Nvidia (NVDA.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) rose between 1% and 5%.

All 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading higher, with rate-sensitive real estate (.SPLRCR) stocks up 3.2% and leading gains.

On the earnings front,Qualcomm(QCOM.O) climbed 5.6% after the chip designer forecast first-quarter sales and profit above Wall Street estimates.

PayPal (PYPL.O) advanced 3.9% as the payments giant raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

Starbucks (SBUX.O) jumped 9.4% after fourth-quarter results beat estimates, while drugmaker Eli Lilly(LLY.N) jumped 4.6% after beating quarterly sales estimates.

Apple's (AAPL.O) shares advanced 1.8% ahead of its quarterly numbers due after markets close on Thursday.

U.S. equities have kicked off November on a brighter note following a bruising October marred by fears of higher-for-longer interest rates and geopolitical tensions.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased moderately last week.

The main data point of the week will be the October non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which will offer more clarity on the state of the labor market.

At 11:39 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 401.78 points, or 1.21%, at 33,676.36, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 65.07 points, or 1.54%, at 4,302.93, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 191.95 points, or 1.47%, at 13,253.42.

Among other stocks, data analytics firm Palantir Technologies(PLTR.N) rose 16.8% on forecasting quarterly revenue above estimates.

Moderna (MRNA.O) dropped 9.0% after lowering its 2023 COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast.

The Cboe Volatility index (.VIX), also known as Wall Street's fear gauge, touched a three-week low.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6.82-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.12-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded nine new 52-week highs and lows each, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 95 new lows.

Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Shounak Dasgupta, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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