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Wall St set for higher open on rate cut optimism

Published Dec 06, 2023 21:53 Updated Dec 07, 2023 00:59
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
 
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By Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) -Wall Street was set to open higher on Wednesday as investors were optimistic about rate cuts from the Federal Reserve early next year, after data showed further signs of a cooling labor market.

The S&P 500 and the Dow closed lower in the previous session, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq was propped up by a fall in Treasury yields after data showing a fall in job openings bolstered bets that the Fed was done raising rates.

Providing more evidence of labor market weakness, the ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) National Employment report showed private payrolls increased by 103,000 jobs in November, below economists' expectation of 130,000.

"This is basically what markets are looking for (as) weaker labor growth would reduce the threat of inflation," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

Traders have nearly fully priced in the probability that the central bank will hold rates steady next week and expect to see rate cuts being delivered as soon as the first quarter of next year.

Bets of a cut of at least 25 basis points in March currently stand at 59%, according to the CME Group's (NASDAQ:CME) FedWatch tool.

At 8:27 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 48 points, or 0.13%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.22%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 40.5 points, or 0.25%.

"The market is beginning to level off after a few days of negative activity," Cardillo said.

Optimism about peaking interest rates has led to a rebound in equities from their October lows, with the benchmark S&P 500 gaining nearly 9% in November, hitting its highest close of the year last week.

Investors will get more clarity on the state of the labor market and the outlook for interest rates from November's non-farm payrolls report, due on Friday.

Most megacap stocks edged higher in premarket trading. Nvidia rose 1.1% after the chip designer said it was working with the U.S. government to ensure new chips for the Chinese market are compliant with export curbs.

Among other stocks, Plug Power fell 7.5% before the bell, as Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) downgraded the hydrogen fuel cell firm to "underweight" from "equal weight" on liquidity concerns.

Tobacco giants Altria Group (NYSE:MO) and Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) slipped 1.0% and 1.1%, respectively, after UK peer British American Tobacco (LON:BATS) said it will take a $31.5 billion hit from writing down the value of some U.S. cigarette brands.

Campbell Soup rose 1.9% on surpassing quarterly profit expectations, helped by higher prices for its packaged meals and snacks.

Wall St set for higher open on rate cut optimism
 

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