U.S. stocks are rising after GM's strong outlook as investors await Fed

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U.S. stocks are rising after GM's strong outlook as investors await Fed
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks were rising after strong earnings from General Motors and data showing wage growth pressures eased in the fourth quarter.

At 9:45 ET (14:45 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 54 points or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 was up 0.3% and the NASDAQ Composite was up 0.5%.

Stocks are on track to clock a positive start to the year, with the S&P up 4.6% so far in January and the Nasdaq up 8.8%, putting the tech-heavy index on pace for its best monthly gain since last July.

Investors await the Federal Reserve’s first policy decision of the year on Wednesday and the highly anticipated report on January jobs on Friday.

Automaker General Motors Company (NYSE: GM ) beat estimates and outlined stronger-than-expected 2023 earnings projections, boosted by demand for electric vehicles and improved supply chains. GM shares rose 7.3%.

Shares of heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT ) fell 3.7% after it said higher manufacturing costs led to a drop in quarterly profit. Fast food giant McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD ) beat estimates for same store sales as revenue fell slightly from the same period one year ago. McDonald’s shares fell 1.9%.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE )’s revenue outlook for COVID-19 products fell short of estimates, sending its stock down 1.9%.

Later this week, investors will take in earnings from major tech companies including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ). 

The market is betting on the Fed raising rates by a quarter of a percentage point. Chair Jerome Powell will speak to reporters in the afternoon after the decision is announced, and investors will be listening for any clues as to the Fed’s next steps.

Labor data is also featured this week. In addition to Friday’s report on jobs, the latest employment cost index reading is out. Labor costs increased less than expected in the fourth quarter, rising 1% from the third quarter against expectations for a 1.1% rise and the third quarter’s 1.2% rise.

Oil dipped. Crude Oil WTI Futures were down 0.5% to $77.50 a barrel while Brent Oil Futures crude were down to $84.09 a barrel. Gold Futures were flat at $1,923.

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