Wall St set to open higher on bets of end to Fed's rate hikes

3 weeks ago 39

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
  • Futures up: Dow 0.55%, S&P 0.79%, Nasdaq 1.21%

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main stock indexes were set to open higher 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 U.S. Treasury yields tumbling, with the benchmark 10-year yield hitting a fresh two-week low.

That, in turn, fueled gains in mega-cap growth stocks. Microsoft (MSFT.O), Nvidia (NVDA.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) rose between 1% and 3.5% in premarket trading.

"Our base case is that the Fed is done, but that they will take time to cut rates," said Raphael Olszyna-Marzys, international economist at J Safra Sarasin.

"There's a decent possibility that they will have to do more (hikes), but this is not how the market is seeing it for the moment."

Traders pared back the risk of a December hike to about 20% and a January move to 25%, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. They have also priced in a 70% chance that the tightening is over.

A report showing stronger-than-expected jobless claims of 217,000 last week pointed to signs of softening in the labor market, helping Wall Street futures move higher.

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.

Shares of Qualcomm(QCOM.O) climbed 6.4% after the chip designer forecast first-quarter sales and profit above Wall Street estimates as a slowdown in smartphone sales eases.

PayPal (PYPL.O) advanced 6.6% as the payments giant raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.

Starbucks (SBUX.O) jumped 10.3% after fourth-quarter results beat estimates, while data analytics firm Palantir Technologies(PLTR.N) rose 14.5% on forecasting quarterly revenue above estimates.

Moderna (MRNA.O) dropped 9.2% after lowering its 2023 COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast.

Apple's (AAPL.O) shares rose 1.3% ahead of its quarterly numbers due after markets close on Thursday.

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.

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

At 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 185 points, or 0.55%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 33.5 points, or 0.79%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 178 points, or 1.21%.

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

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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