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Stock Market Today: Stocks Closed Higher Despite Fed’s Hawkish Stance

Last Updated 4:02PM EST

Stocks finished today’s trading session in the green despite the Federal Reserve’s Hawkish stance. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.4%, 0.75%, and 0.48%, respectively.

The Federal Reserve meeting minutes showed that the central bank isn’t done with its restrictive policy. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough evidence to suggest that inflation is falling in a way that’s convincing enough.

Furthermore, participants emphasized that it’s important to communicate the fact that slowing interest rate hikes doesn’t mean that the Fed will be softening its stance on inflation.

In addition, The Federal Reserve believes that the labor market is still tight and believed that the JOLTs report was still high in October. This is bad news, especially since today’s JOLTs report for November came in hotter than expected.

Overall, the central bank believes that there are more risks to loosening its policy too soon than there are by keeping policy tight.

Last updated: 12:30PM EST

Stocks are in the green halfway into today’s trading session. As of 12:30 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq 100 are up 0.7%, 1.1%, and 0.9%, respectively.

Last updated: 11:07AM EST

Stocks are relatively flat despite weak manufacturing data. The major indices have seen choppy trading action so far as they alternate between being slightly up and down.

Earlier today, the Institute for Supply Management released its monthly report for the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the month-over-month change in production levels. A number over 50 represents an expansion, whereas anything below 50 means a contraction. The report came in at 48.4, which was lower than the expected 48.5.

It’s worth noting that this indicator is lower than last month’s reading of 49 and has been slowly downtrending ever since its peak in April 2021, when it hit a high of 64.7.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its JOLTS Job Openings report, which helps measure job vacancies in the U.S. The number came in at 10.458 million job openings for November, above the expected 10 million.

Although lower than the peak of 11.855 million, job openings are still near their highs. Nonetheless, job openings are on an overall decline, and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues as rates continue to rise while growth slows down.

In addition, it’s important to remember that this data is for November, thus, making it a lagging indicator. Since then, many companies have announced that they will reduce their workforce in order to cut costs.

Last updated: 9:35AM EST

Stock markets opened on Wednesday on an optimistic note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) inching up by 0.2%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) was up 0.4%, as of 9:35a.m. EST, Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) advanced 0.6%.

First published: 7:28AM EST

Stock futures climbed on Wednesday as investors look forward to a day of several economic updates after a stressful first session of the year.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 0.26%, while those on the S&P 500 (SPX) inched down 0.33%, as of 7.05 a.m. EST, Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) futures shed 0.54%.

Investors were encouraged by Europe’s inflation data, lower-than-expected French consumer price index, and a price drop in German imports.

At the end of the regular trading session Tuesday, the S&P 500, the Dow, and the Nasdaq 100 closed out lower by 0.4%, 0.03%, and 0.7%, respectively.

The losses in the Nasdaq 100 were led by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Apple’s shiny shell of brand name is wearing off, as investors are finally starting to take stock of the persistently weakening demand. The stock fell almost 4% on Tuesday, as investors threw in the towel on their safe haven.

Tesla’s never-ending woes and growing uncertainty also led to a 12% plunge.

Key Economic Updates on Wednesday

Wednesday is an action-packed day, with the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the ISM manufacturing data slated to be out.

Moreover, minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December FOMC meeting are also set to be released later today, giving us a clearer picture of the central bank’s policy path, going forward.

Job Market Updates

Friday’s release of December’s employment numbers remains the most-awaited data this week, as the job market is an important area of the economy that needs to be slowed in order to contain inflation. A lower number of payrolls may lead to a market rally.

The layoffs in the private sector, especially in tech-driven companies across industries have borne the brunt of the high-interest and high-inflationary environment hardest. In 2022, 150,000 workers were handed the pink slip, according to estimates from data tracker Layoffs.fyi.

Now, if data reveals that the job market is desirably slowing, we may see more of such lay-offs this year as well. In fact, layoffs are expected to be the immediate effect of the monetary policy as the Fed tries to cripple wage inflation and press the break on the labor market

Interested in more economic insights? Tune in to our LIVE webinar.

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