Stock market today: Dow sidesteps tough Fed speak to close higher

  • Stock Market News
Stock market today: Dow sidesteps tough Fed speak to close higher
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow closed higher Friday as investors weighed up further hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials, and the latest wave of quarterly results from retailers.   

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.59%, or 199 points, the Nasdaq   rose 0.01%, and the  S&P 500 rose 0.48%.

Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins said “all possible increments” of rate hikes were on the table for the Fed’s December meeting including a 75-basis point rate hike. The comments echoed similar remarks from Fed members, who this week have insisted that further monetary policy tightening is needed to quell inflation.

Treasury yields have continued to strengthen against the backdrop of hawkish remarks from Fed members, pressuring growth sectors of the market like tech and consumer discretionary.

Big tech traded mixed, with Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) ending the day in the red, while Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META ) closed less than 1% higher. (NASDAQ: AMZN ), meanwhile, fell nearly 1% as the e-commerce giant confirmed jobs cuts would continue into next year amid a “challenging” economy.

Chip stocks ended just above the flatline as Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT ) gave up some gains despite reporting third-quarter results that topped analysts' estimates.  

Energy capped gains in the broader market as oil prices fell amid ongoing fears about weaker demand in China amid ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.  

The fall in oil prices is “due to concerns about demand amid rising Covid cases in China, which make it unlikely that coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed anytime soon,” Commerzbank said in a note.

The flurry of earnings from retailers, meanwhile, continued to show mixed performance.

Foot Locker (NYSE: FL ) raised its full-year guidance after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results , sending its shares more than 8% higher.

The apparel and footwear retailer also said it expects a “less challenging environment in Q4 than previously expected…with comps planned down "only" 6-8% verses messaging from management previously that comps would be [down] double digits,” Wedbush said after lifting its price target on the stock to $37 from $30.

Gap (NYSE: GPS ) swung to an unexpected profit in the third quarter, driven by “stronger sales momentum as a result of a sequential improvement in comps across brands,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM ), meanwhile, reported quarterly results that topped estimates on the top line, but pulled its guidance through fiscal 2024, citing macroeconomic uncertainty. Its shares fell 6%.

In other news, Carvana (NYSE: CVNA ) slumped 3% as the used-car retailer is set to cut 1,500 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, CNBC reported, citing an internal memo.

Looking to the shortened trading week ahead, the Fed's minutes from its October meeting will garner investor attention for clues on the central bank's thinking on monetary policy.    

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