Update (Nov. 15, 2023): For today's live markets coverage, see here.
Stocks soared and Treasury yields fell Tuesday after data showed inflation slowed more than expected in October, raising hopes the Federal Reserve could be done with interest rate hikes.
The Nasdaq jumped nearly 2.4%, its biggest one-day gain since April, while the S&P 500 surged 1.9% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4%.
The yield on 10-year Treasurys fell nearly 20 basis points to their lowest in a month and a half. The yield on shorter-dated bonds fell even more dramatically.
Inflation decelerated to a standstill in October, a bigger slowdown than economists were expecting. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, unexpectedly slowed to 0.2% from 0.3% in September.
Home Depot (HD) beat analysts' expectations with its third-quarter earnings report but narrowed its full-year earnings outlook, reflecting a pullback in consumer spending on big-ticket items and major projects.
Stocks recovered from early losses to finish yesterday little changed, with the Dow rising 0.2% and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing slightly lower.
S&P 500 Gains and Losses Today
Here are the S&P 500 stocks that gained and lost the most today, and the stories behind the day's market movers.
Dow Soars Nearly 500 Points on Inflation Report, Interest Rate Optimism
罢辞诲补测’蝉 better-than-anticipated inflation report sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring 490 points, or 1.4%, amid a broad market rally on optimism that the Federal Reserve is finished hiking interest rates.
Home Depot (HD) shares surged 5.4% after its third-quarter earnings topped Wall Street’s estimates, despite same store sales and income falling year-over-year. The company also narrowed its full-year guidance, forecasting a 3% to 4% decline in revenue.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) gained 4.6%, bouncing back after closing yesterday at its lowest price since 1998.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) shares moved up 1.8% in advance of its earnings report after the bell tomorrow. Walmart (WMT) will also report earnings tomorrow, though its shares finished Tuesday’s session unchanged.
Insurers Travelers Companies (TRV) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) were the worst performers of the Dow 30. Shares fell 1.4% and 0.4%, respectively, as investors considered the impact lower interest rates could have on each company’s interest-bearing investments.
Amazon, Snap Shares Jump After Reports of Plan for Snapchat Users to Shop Via Amazon Ads
Shares of Snap (SNAP) surged nearly 7% and Amazon (AMZN) shares gained more than 2% Tuesday following reports the two companies struck a deal to allow users of Snap’s Snapchat social media app to buy products through Amazon.
Reports said the agreement will let customers shop via Amazon’s Snapchat ads and check out without leaving the platform.
The move by Amazon follows similar arrangements it made earlier this year with Pinterest (PINS), and one last week with Meta Platforms (META), which gives Facebook and Instagram users the same in-app ad buying opportunities.
The news sent shares of Amazon to their highest level since April 2022. Snap shares were the highest they’ve been since July.
Small Caps Jump on Rates Enthusiasm
The Russell 2000, an index of U.S. small caps, rose nearly 5% Tuesday, its biggest one-day gain since this time last year. Though even with Tuesday’s gains, the index is up just 1.5% year-to-date, while the large-cap S&P 500 has risen more than 17%.
Small caps tend to be more volatile and riskier than large-cap stocks. Negative market sentiment weighs more heavily on small caps, as do higher interest rates since smaller companies often lack the deep pockets that can somewhat insulate giants like Apple and Microsoft from the effects of higher rates.
Clean Energy Stocks, Beaten Down by Higher Rates, Surge
Shares of clean energy companies were some of Tuesday’s best performers as investors bid up stocks that have been pummeled this year by higher interest rates.?
Shares of S&P 500 components Enphase Energy (ENPH), First Solar (FSLR), and SolarEdge (SEDG) were up 14%, 12%, and 9%, respectively, Tuesday afternoon. Smaller peers Plug Power (PLUG) and Sunrun (RUN) jumped 22% and 17%, respectively.
Still, green tech stocks have a long way to go before they recover from last year’s bear market. SolarEdge, Enphase Energy, and Plug Power are all more than 70% off their 52-week highs.
The sector has been hit hard by rising interest rates, which take the biggest toll on companies in capital-intensive, growth industries. Higher borrowing costs have partially offset the benefit of greater investment by governments and businesses around the world as they seek to meet climate goals.?
Falling Dollar Could Put More Wind in the Sails of U.S. Stocks
The dollar lost ground relative to most major currencies Tuesday, giving stocks an extra boost on top of October’s promising inflation data.?
The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY), a measure of the dollar’s value against a basket of currencies including the euro, the Japanese yen, and the British pound, fell 1.4% to about 104, its lowest since early September.
The dollar fell alongside Treasury yields, which tumbled after better-than-expected inflation data raised hopes the Fed will relax monetary policy sooner than expected. Lower yields depress demand for Treasurys, and international buyers make up a sizable portion of the Treasury market. Since those buyers need dollars to trade Treasurys, lower yields indirectly reduce demand for the dollar, decreasing its relative value.
A weaker dollar could be good news for stocks. Cumulatively, S&P 500 companies generate about 40% of their revenue internationally; nearly 60% of the tech sector’s revenue comes from outside the U.S. All else equal, a weaker dollar in the fourth quarter would boost S&P 500 sales.
One caveat: The U.S. economy has proved much more resilient this year than most others. Recessions in major international markets, like the European Union and China, would hit sales and possibly offset the positive effect of a weaker dollar.
U.S. equities skyrocketed at midday as slowing inflation boosted optimism the Fed might not hike interest rates further to bring down prices.
Tech stocks, which become more attractive when borrowing costs fall, soared. The SPDR Select Sector Technology Fund (XLK) hit an all-time high.
Enphase Energy (ENPH) and other solar power company stocks rose. Home Depot (HD) was the best-performing stock in the Dow as the biggest home improvement retailer beat profit and sales estimates and said consumer demand for smaller projects remained strong.
Insurance company stocks dominated the list of worst performers in the S&P 500, with Chubb (CB) and Cardinal Health (CAH) shares losing 2%. Shares of Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) fell as the insurance broker announced it purchased Australia’s Edgar Insurance Brokers.
Insurers Lag Market as Investors Look Forward to Lower Rates
Insurance companies were some of the day’s worst-performing stocks Tuesday after October’s better-than-expected inflation report had investors looking ahead to much-anticipated interest rate cuts.
Insurers Travelers Companies (TRV) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) were the only stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading in the red midday Tuesday. They were down 1.1% and 0.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, Chubb Ltd. (CB) was the S&P 500’s worst-performing stock midday, down 1.9%. Progressive Corp. (PRG) and re-insurer Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL) also fell more than 1% Tuesday.
Premiums are the primary source of revenue for insurance companies, but they’re not the only source. Insurers also invest premiums in relatively safe interest-bearing assets, like Treasurys and other cash equivalents. When interest rates rise, those investments generate a higher return and give insurers a bigger buffer against claims. When rates fall, interest income falls with it. This relationship makes insurance one of the few industries to benefit from higher rates.
Treasurys Rally on Inflation Data
Treasurys rallied alongside stocks on Tuesday, sending yields sharply lower.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped more than 15 basis points to 4.45%, its lowest since late September, following October’s inflation data. The 30-year yield sank to 4.61%, and the 2-year yield dropped nearly 20 basis points to 4.85%, its lowest since early September.
Treasury prices and yields, which are inversely related, are directly impacted by expectations of future interest rates. This morning's inflation report dramatically shifted those expectations, raising hopes the Fed is done with its cycle of interest rate hikes.
Home Depot Cuts Guidance as Sales Decline Despite Earnings Beat
Shares of Home Depot (HD) surged more than 6% Tuesday morning after the home improvement retailer reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings even as high inflation and interest rates weighed on sales.
Net income fell roughly 12% compared to the year-ago quarter to $3.8 billion, or $3.80 per share. Revenue fell by a less-than-expected 3% to $37.7 billion.
Home Depot also pared back its guidance for the year, now projecting a 3% to 4% revenue decline and diluted earnings per share 9% to 11% lower compared to fiscal year 2022.
High inflation and interest rates have caused consumers to reduce their discretionary spending, leading plenty to postpone or scale back home renovation plans.
Meanwhile, mortgage rates are their highest in decades, putting already expensive houses out of reach for most new buyers and locking existing homeowners into their cheap pre-pandemic mortgages. That's effectively plunged the housing market into a deep freeze, dealing a direct blow to Home Depot's sales.
Investors Up Bets Fed’s Rate Hike Cycle Has Ended
Investors, encouraged by October’s inflation numbers, are all but certain that the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates.
According to CME Group's FedWatch Tool, which uses federal funds rate futures trading data to gauge the market’s expectations for future interest rate decisions, markets see a 100% chance the Fed will hold rates steady at its next policy meeting in December. As recently as yesterday, markets saw a nearly 15% chance of a 25 basis point hike. ?
Investors are nearly as confident rates will go unchanged in January when they peg the probability of a hike at about 2%.
Investors don’t see a more than 5% chance of rates changing until March when they think there’s a 28% chance the Fed begins to lower the federal funds rate.
Stocks Making the Biggest Moves Premarket
- Snap Inc. (SNAP): Shares rose about 7% after the social media platform struck a deal with Amazon to allow users to buy products from Amazon (AMZN) within the Snapchat app. Amazon secured a similar deal with Facebook and Instagram owner Meta Platform (META) last week. Amazon shares were about 2% higher premarket.
- Teck Resources Ltd. (TECK): Shares of the Canada-based mining company rose more than 6% after it said it would sell its coal business to Glencore, Japan’s Nippon Steel, and South Korea’s POSCO for about $9 billion.
- Home Depot (HD): Shares of the home improvement retailer rose more than 1% after its third-quarter earnings topped analyst estimates despite a 3% drop in revenue and same-store sales.
- Sea Ltd. (SE): Shares of the Singapore-based e-commerce company fell more than 8% after it reported a net loss of $144 million in the most recent quarter.
- AerCap N.V. (AER): Shares of the aircraft leasing company fell about 2% after it announced the pricing of a secondary offering of over 26 million shares being sold by General Electric (GE) subsidiary GE Capital.
October Inflation Comes in Below Expectations
Inflation slowed by more than expected in October, a positive sign for the Federal Reserve as it seeks to rein in decades-high price increases.
October's Consumer Price Index (CPI):
- CPI (month-over-month change): 0% vs. 0.4% in September
- Core CPI (MOM): 0.2% vs. 0.3% in September?
- CPI (year-over-year): 3.2% vs. 3.7% in September
- Core CPI (YOY): 4% vs. 4.1% in September
Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose at its slowest pace since September 2021.
Shelter costs, which make up more than one-third of the index, continued to rise last month. Meanwhile, prices for energy, hotels, cars, and plane tickets declined.?
Stock Futures Modestly Higher Ahead of Inflation Data
Futures contracts connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were less than 0.1% higher in premarket trading.
S&P 500 futures were 0.1% higher.
Nasdaq 100 futures climbed about 0.3%.