US stocks rise as Fed eyes slower rate hike pace

Federal Reserve minutes signalled a moderation in the US central bank's aggressive policy to counter inflation. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks rose for a second straight session on Wednesday following Federal Reserve minutes that signalled a moderation in its aggressive policy to counter inflation.

At its latest meeting in early November, a majority of Fed policymakers found that a slower pace of interest rate hikes would “likely soon be appropriate,” according to the minutes.

The release came on the heels of mostly solid economic data and helped equities recover from a mid-session swoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.3 per cent at 34,194.06.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.6 per cent to 4,027.26, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 1 per cent at 34,194.06.

Earlier, reports showed surprisingly strong orders of big-ticket US manufactured goods in October, while new home sales defied expectations and rose during the same month.

Weekly jobless claims ticked higher, while a University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment topped expectations.

Among individual companies, Deere & Co jumped 5 per cent as it reported higher profits on a 37 per cent surge in revenues to US$15.5 billion (S$21 billion). Deere said industry conditions remained robust as it pointed to a “continuation of strong demand for farm and construction equipment.”

Software company Autodesk slumped 5.7 per cent after it said free cash flow would be lower than expected in the near-term because it sealed fewer multi-year contracts with up-front cash in a “challenging” macroeconomic environment.

Markets will be closed on Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and will end trading at midday on Friday. AFP

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