April 22, 2024
Finance

Stock market news today: Stocks rise as 2023 trading wraps up


Stocks rose on Tuesday morning, riding the momentum of a year-end rally in which hopes of a soft landing are strengthening and more optimistic reads on 2024 are taking hold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) edged just over the flatline during morning trading. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.1% while the the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) advanced 0.3%.

All three major indexes are up by double digits for the year, with the Nasdaq leading the way, boasting year-to-date gains of more than 40%.

The surge in stocks arrives as Wall Street expects the Fed to soon end its tightening campaign, in a striking signal that the central bank’s battle against inflation has taken a decisive and positive turn.

The year began with many market observers worried about pricing pressures and the potentially destructive consequences of the Fed raising interest rates. But as the final days of the year have arrived, the narrative has shifted to talk of the Fed cutting rates, to surprise at how much inflation has cooled, and to the resilience of the job market. Many market watchers thought employers would have been pummeled as a result of the central bank trying to tamp down the economy. But unemployment remains below 4%.

2024 will bring its own challenges. The recession that many thought was coming this year could still muscle its way in. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has emphasized that the timing of rate cutting isn’t set in stone, and if the economy comes roaring back, inviting yet another climb in inflation, more rate hikes or a delay in cuts could be the next phase of the Fed’s policy action.

“Most of 2023 has been about the resilient consumer and waiting for a recession which never came, but we think 2024 is going to be much more about inflation going back to target in a sustainable way or inflation getting ‘stuck’ and forcing the Fed to cut much less than the market expects,” said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

S sign at the intersection of Broad and Wall streets is shown outside the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, in New York. Stocks drifted higher in afternoon trading Monday on Wall Street ahead of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting of the year. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

S sign at the intersection of Broad and Wall streets is shown outside the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, in New York. Stocks drifted higher in afternoon trading Monday on Wall Street ahead of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting of the year. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In corporate news, shares of Intel (INTC) rose 2% to kick off the day after the company confirmed it secured more than $3 billion in incentives from the Israeli government to expand to wafer fabrication int he country.

Hamza Shaban is a reporter for Yahoo Finance covering markets and the economy. Follow Hamza on Twitter @hshaban.

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