By Herbert Lash, Ankika Biswas and Bansari Mayur Kamdar
Oct 4 (Reuters) – Wall Street rallied for a second straight day on Tuesday after softer U.S. economic data led Treasury yields lower and Australia’s central bank cut interest rates less than expected, providing hope that the Federal Reserve would soon temper its aggressive rate hikes.
While labor demand remains fairly strong, U.S. job openings fell by the most in nearly 2-1/2 years in August in another sign the Fed might ease on its mission to tame inflation by tightening policy.
Earlier, the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised markets with a smaller-than-expected interest rate hike of 25 basis points. Its cash rate rose to a nine-year peak after six rate hikes in as many months, following similar moves by other central banks.
The RBA is the first major central bank to recognize that now is the time to slow down after aggressively raising rates this year, said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan.
“There’s hope that the Federal Reserve at some point in the fourth quarter will say the same thing. Not stop raising interest rates, but just slow the pace,” he said. “That’s what the markets kind of rallying on below the surface.”
Still, Fed Gov. Philip Jefferson said inflation is the most serious problem facing the U.S. central bank and it “may take some time” to address. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said the central bank needs to deliver more rate hikes.
Rate-sensitive tech stocks rose as yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury US10YT=TWEB fell for a second day after the jobs data and RBA’s surprise move. Valuations on tech and other growth stocks are related to the cost of capital. US/
If gains hold, the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC is set to notch its best single-day performance since July 27, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX were poised to score their biggest two-day rally since April 2020.
Billionaire Elon Musk proposed going ahead with his original offer of $54.20 to take Twitter Inc TWTR.N private, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, sending the social media firm’s shares surging 12.67%. Tesla shares had been up about 6% before the news and immediately cut gains, up about 2.25% on the day.
The megacap titans led the rally, with Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O climbing 4.36% and Microsoft Corp MSFT.O advancing 2.90%. Apple Inc AAPL.O rose 1.90% while Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O2.62%.
At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJIrose 667.54 points, or 2.26%, to 30,158.43, the S&P 500 .SPXgained 92.64 points, or 2.52%, to 3,771.07 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXICadded 306.59 points, or 2.83%, to 11,122.03.
Banks such as Citigroup C.N, Morgan Stanley MS.N and Goldman Sachs GS.N climbed nearly 5%, boosting the banks index .SPXBK by 4%.
The rally was widespread, with less than a dozen of the S&P 500 index trading in negative territory.
The rebound in stocks on Monday followed the S&P 500’s .SPX lowest close in nearly two years last week that capped its worst monthly performance in September since March 2020.
Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN.O jumped 13.4% after the electric-vehicle maker said it produced 7,363 units in the third quarter, 67% more than the preceding quarter, and maintained its full-year target of 25,000.
The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 45 new highs and 56 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh, Ankika Biswas and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Arun Koyyur, Sriraj Kalluvila and Richard Chang)
((Medha.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; +91 80 6210 0592; Twitter: https://twitter.com/medhasinghs;))
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