Wall Street on Track for Big November 11/30 10:23

Wall Street on Track for Big November  11/30 10:23

   Stocks are drifting in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday but remain on 
track for their best monthly gain in more than a year.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are drifting in morning trading on Wall Street 
Thursday but remain on track for their best monthly gain in more than a year.

   The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in morning trading, but remains up more than 8% in 
November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 301 points, or 0.9%, to 35,733 
as of 11:05 a.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq fell 0.5%.

   Treasury yields gained ground. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which 
influences mortgage rates, rose to 4.32% from 4.26% late Wednesday.

   The market has been marching steadily higher in recent weeks as investors 
hope the Federal Reserve is finally done raising interest rates, which fight 
inflation by slowing the economy. Those hopes got more support with a report 
that the Fed's preferred measure of inflation cooled last month.

   November's rally has also been driven largely by the technology sector, 
where several companies with high values tend to disproportionately impact the 
market. Microsoft is up 11.5% and Nvidia rose 15% for the month. Also, Treasury 
yields have generally been falling and easing pressure on stocks. High yields 
tend to make expensive stocks look less attractive to investors.

   Thursday's report from the Commerce Department said prices were unchanged 
from September to October, down from a 0.4% rise the previous month. Compared 
with a year ago, consumer prices rose 3% in October, below the 3.4% annual rate 
in September. That was the lowest year-over-year inflation rate in more than 2 
1/2 years.

   The Fed's aggressive rate hike policy pushed its benchmark interest rate 
from near zero in 2022 to its highest level in two decades by the middle of 
2023. The goal has been to tame inflation back to the Fed's target rate of 2%.

   Wall Street is betting that the central bank will continue to hold rates 
steady at its December meeting and into early 2024, when it could start 
considering cutting interest rates. Fed officials have hinted at those 
possibilities, while also saying any future moves will be based on economic 

   The latest data on economic growth and consumer confidence have also raised 
hopes that the Fed will achieve its sought-after "soft landing," which involves 
cooling the inflation without throwing the economy into a recession. Meanwhile, 
the latest round of surprisingly encouraging corporate earnings gave investors 
more confidence that businesses and the economy can keep humming along.

   Software company Salesforce jumped 6.7% after giving investors a strong 
profit forecast. Cloud-computing company Snowflake rose 4.9% after also giving 
Wall Street an encouraging financial forecast.

   On the losing end, data storage company Pure Storage fell 14.9% after giving 
investors a disappointing revenue outlook.

   Also Thursday, the Labor Department said slightly more Americans filed for 
unemployment benefits last week, but the overall number of people in the U.S. 
collecting benefits rose to its highest level in two years. The report shows 
that the labor market remains strong, but is showing signs of softening.

   In Europe, the latest data showed that inflation dropped more than expected 
to 2.4% in November, the lowest in more than two years. The new figure is close 
to the European Central Bank's inflation target of 2% following a rapid series 
of interest rate hikes dating to summer 2022.

   Stocks in Asia and Europe were mostly higher.

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