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Moderate rise in consumer prices boosts S&P 500 and Nasdaq, expectations of unchanged interest rates persist

Published Sep 13, 2023 07:48PM ET
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The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed higher on Wednesday, following data that showed a moderate increase in consumer prices in August. This has reinforced market expectations that the Federal Reserve will likely keep interest rates unchanged in September. The S&P 500 ended the session up by 0.12% at 4,467.44 points, while the Nasdaq gained 0.29% to 13,813.59 points. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped slightly by 0.20% to 34,575.53 points.

Megacap growth stocks including Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) each saw gains of over 1%. On the other hand, Apple shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) declined by 1.2%, marking a second consecutive day of losses after the tech giant unveiled new iPhones on Tuesday without altering their pricing.

The S&P 500 consumer discretionary index rose by 0.9%, buoyed by Ford Motor (NYSE:F)'s rally of 1.5%. The vehicle manufacturer's plans to double the production of its hybrid F-150 pickup trucks in 2024 contributed to this uptick.

August data revealed that consumer prices had seen their most significant increase in 14 months, largely driven by a surge in gasoline prices. Despite this, the annual rise in underlying inflation was the lowest it has been in nearly two years. Gasoline prices peaked at $3.984 per gallon in the third week of August, compared to $3.676 per gallon during the same period in July.

The persistence of services inflation has kept alive the possibility of an interest rate hike in November. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, interest rate traders currently see a 97% chance of the Fed holding rates in September and a 61% likelihood of a pause in November.

Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investment, commented on the situation. "I don't think the Fed wants to throw a shock and do a 25-basis-point hike when the expectations are that they won't, but rate hikes are not completely off the table for the rest of the year," she said.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

Moderate rise in consumer prices boosts S&P 500 and Nasdaq, expectations of unchanged interest rates persist
 

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