U.S. Markets Rise After Lengthy Sell-off, Despite Fears of Rate Hikes

S&P 500 and Nasdaq bounce but gains capped by producer price surprise.

(Image credit: Future)

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq bounced on Wednesday after a five-day selloff, but inflation and rate hike worries capped the gains after a higher-than-expected rise in September producer prices.

The Labor Department's producer prices index rose 8.5% in the 12 months through September, slightly higher than an estimated 8.4% rise. The reading was still lower than an 8.7% increase in August.

Persistent inflation has increased concerns about the Fed's aggressive monetary action tipping the world's largest economy into a recession.

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"It's stubborn and some people are hoping that we had peak inflation and it's going to come down quickly," said Joe Saluzzi, partner at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

"It is not going to be that way. That's what the Fed has been looking at and that's why they're raising rates the way they are. So this will take time and this is not going to be a quick thing."

Money markets are pricing in a 92% chance of another 75-basis-point hike in November. Investors will also scrutinize the Fed's September meeting minutes, due later in the day, for more clarity on the central bank's rate hike trajectory.

"The thing we're looking for from the FOMC is some evidence that it is open-minded, that they will consider being a lot more flexible," said Hugh Johnson, chief economist of Hugh Johnson Economics at Albany, New York.

"The comments are going to be just as hawkish as they have been."

At 10:00 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 117.80 points, or 0.40%, at 29,356.99, the S&P 500 was up 9.26 points, or 0.26%, at 3,598.10, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.97 points, or 0.19%, at 10,446.16.

Battered megacap companies Apple Inc, Amazon.com, and Alphabet Inc were up between 0.58% and 1.16%.

Chip shares including Nvidia Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Micron Technology Inc, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp were mixed.

The United States is scrambling to tackle unintended consequences of its new export curbs on China's chip industry that could inadvertently harm the semiconductor supply chain.

The Biden administration has allowed at least two non-Chinese chipmakers operating in China to receive restricted goods and services without their suppliers seeking licenses, the report said.

PepsiCo Inc gained 3.35% after the soft-drinks maker raised its annual revenue and profit forecasts on firm demand for its sodas and snacks despite multiple price increases.

Boeing Co slipped 0.74% after Credit Suisse started its coverage on the planemaker with an "underperform" rating and Street low price target.

Investors will also monitor comments from Fed's Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari, Washington's Vice Chair for Supervision Michael Barr, and New York's Governor Michelle Bowman.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.74-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and 41 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 7 new highs and 201 new lows.

(Reuters Reporting by Ankika Biswas, Shreyashi Sanyal & Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Arun Koyyur)

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