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Dow Falls Ahead of Powell’s Speech; The Nasdaq remained afloat with growth stocks

  • Tesla up as sales in China almost double in November – data
  • Fed Chair Powell’s speech at 1330 ET (1[ads1]830 GMT)
  • US private wage growth slows in November – ADP
  • Dow down 0.47%, S&P down 0.13%, Nasdaq up 0.26%

Nov 30 (Reuters) – Wall Street was mixed on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 down and heavyweight growth stocks boosting the Nasdaq as focus shifts to comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day.

Powell’s speech will be closely watched for signs of a slowdown in the pace of rate hikes by the central bank, as well as to assess the overall health of the US economy.

“The market is expecting him (Powell) to say we might not want to do the 75 bps hike … when people listen to the Fed chair talk, they’re waiting for that little hint,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

Hopes that the Fed will now raise interest rates in smaller intervals and recent data pointing to a mild cooling in prices have positioned the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) for its second consecutive month of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) has risen 17.5% over the past two months, while the Nasdaq (.IXIC) has gained 4.2%.

“After the gains we’ve seen, you have some investors taking some money off the table here today,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. “Again, nothing dramatic.”

Traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates by 50 basis points in December, with rates peaking in June 2023. FEDWATCH

Heavyweights Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ), Microsoft Corp ( MSFT.O ) and Alphabet Inc ( GOOGL.O ) rose between 0.1% and 1.0%.

Tesla Inc ( TSLA.O ) shares rose 0.3%, after China Merchants Bank International said Tesla’s sales in China in November were boosted by price cuts and incentives offered on the Model 3 and Model Y.

Data for the day were mixed as the ADP National Employment report showed private employment rose 127,000 in November, below expectations for 200,000 jobs, suggesting labor demand cooled amid high interest rates.

The Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls data is due Friday. A report showed that the number of job vacancies in the US fell to 10.334 million in October, from 10.687 million the previous month.

Another reading showed that the US economy rebounded more strongly than first thought in the third quarter.

“A mixed bag this morning. So I’m not really making too much of it, I’d like to see what Powell has to say,” Saluzzi added.

At 12:07 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 157.90 points, or 0.47%, at 33,694.63, the S&P 500 was down 5.02 points, or 0.13%, at 3,952.61, and the Nasdaq was up 29.016, 29.016, %, or.

3M Co ( MMM.N ) fell 3.1% due to weakness in its consumer business.

Biogen Inc ( BIIB.O ) jumped 4.2% after its experimental Alzheimer’s drug slowed cognitive decline in a closely watched study.

Declining issues outnumbered advances by a 1.15-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 120 new lows.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal, Devik Jain and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shounak Dasgupta

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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