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Stock Market Today: Dow closes higher as inflation data, Fed meeting eyed

Published Dec 11, 2023 23:36 Updated Dec 12, 2023 08:10
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Investing.com -- The Dow closed higher on Monday, extending recent gains as investors looked ahead to a crucial week of market-moving events including fresh inflation data and the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting slated for Tuesday.

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the benchmark S&P 500 was up 0.3% and 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.43%, 157 points, with both indexes notching an intraday high. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.20%.

Inflation, Fed meeting in spotlight

The Federal Open Market Committee is tipped to hold rates at their current range of 5.25% to 5.50% on Wednesday. Much of the focus will likely be the Fed's projections for the economy, inflation, and the number of cuts expected next year.

The meeting will arrived on the heels on fresh consumer inflation data expected to show ongoing slowing in price pressures.

Comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell will also be garnered for a potential push back on market expectations for a sooner rather than later rate cut.

In the wake of last week's jobs data and separate numbers showing the slowest annual rise in underlying price gains in two years in October, markets are now pricing in a nearly 50% chance of a quarter-point rate decrease in borrowing costs as soon as May, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Cigna scraps Humana tie-up talks

U.S. health insurer Cigna (NYSE:CI) has ended its drive to acquire peer Humana (NYSE:HUM), according to multiple media reports, pulling the plug on a deal that would have created an insurance behemoth worth over $140 billion.

The reports said neither Cigna nor Humana could agree on a price, while regulatory concerns and a fall in their share prices are also believed to have soured sentiment for a deal.

The abandoned talks come as Connecticut-based Cigna announced that it is aiming to roll out an additional $10B in share buybacks.

Macy's jumps on buyout fever

Macy's (NYSE:M) shares also surged more than 19% after the department store retailer reportedly received a $5.8 billion buyout offer from real estate-focused investing business Arkhouse Management and global asset manager Brigade Capital Management.

The investor group proposed a price of $21 per share for the department store operator, unnamed sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. The offer represents a premium of roughly 21% based on Macy's closing stock price of $17.39 on Friday.

Big tech takes a breather as Treasury yields creep higher; Chip stocks climb

Big tech stocks were the biggest laggard on the day, paced by a more than declines in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL), though a sharp jump in semiconductor stocks kept a lid on losses.

Globalfoundries Inc (NASDAQ:GFS), Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ:AMAT), and Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ:AVGO) led chips higher, with the latter up more than 8% after Citi resumed coverage on the chipmaker with a buy rating.

Occidental Petroleum in deal for CrownRock as consolidation in energy continues

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) said Monday it agreed a deal to buy shale oil driller Crownrock for $12B as the oil major seeks to expand its presence in the Midland basis.

The move underscored an ongoing consolidation in the energy sector following Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)'s $6B takeover deal for shale rival Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) earlier this year.

Elsewhere in the energy sector, Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) and Baker Hughes Co (NASDAQ:BKR) were among the top gainers, up more than 1% even as oil prices traded sluggish amid cautious trading ahead of the Fed meeting this week.

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(Scott Kanowsky contributed to this report.)

Stock Market Today: Dow closes higher as inflation data, Fed meeting eyed
 

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