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US stocks rise as markets bet on Fed rate hike pause

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in New York City. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK - Wall Street stocks finished solidly higher on Thursday, reflecting better sentiment on the US economy and a consensus view that the Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates next week.

Analysts see strength in industrial shares as evidence of a broadening stock market rally as futures markets bet on a Fed interest rate pause next week and some analysts see a smaller chance of a US recession in 2023.

“We’re seeing a broadening of the rally,” said Art Hogan, an analyst at B. Riley Financial, who also sees rising investor confidence that the Fed will not hike rates after its subsequent 2023 meetings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.5 per cent at 33,833.61.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.6 per cent to 4,293.93, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1 per cent to 13,238.52.

Companies that saw major gains in the Dow included Boeing, Merck and UnitedHealth.

Among individual firms, GameStop shares slumped almost 18 per cent after it reported a quarterly loss of US$50.5 million (S$67 million) and announced it terminated Matthew Furlong as chief executive. The company tapped General Counsel Mark Robinson as general manager.

Signet Jewellers dropped 10.7 per cent as it reported a fall in quarterly sales following a 13.9 per cent decline in same store sells. The chain said it experienced a “softer than expected” Mother’s Day and increased competitive discounting. AFP