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Business News Kingdom of Bahrain: Wall Street Gains on Rate-Hike Pause Hopes Amid Weak Jobs Data

On Tuesday, Wall Street’s primary indices experienced an upward surge, primarily driven by growth-oriented stocks like Tesla and Alphabet. This uptick was propelled by a decline in the monthly count of job openings, solidifying expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve might pause its interest rate hikes.

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reported a drop in job openings to 8.827 million in July, marking the third consecutive monthly decrease and indicating a reduction in labor market pressures.

Investors also dissected a report from the Conference Board, revealing that consumer confidence in the United States dipped to 106.1 in August, significantly below the forecasted 116, as reported by Reuters.

Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist at B Riley Wealth, commented, “In both the JOLTS and the consumer confidence number, you’re seeing exactly what you’d want to see, a gradual decrease. All of those things paint a picture for the potential of a soft landing.”

Following the data release, traders’ expectations that the Federal Reserve would leave rates unchanged in September rose to 86.5%. Additionally, anticipations of a rate hike pause in November increased from the previous day, based on data from the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

As yields on the 10-year Treasury note eased to 4.13% and the two-year note’s yield dropped below 5%, growth stocks received support. Companies such as Microsoft, Alphabet, Nvidia, and Tesla saw gains ranging from 1.5% to 6.0%.

Alphabet’s shares were further boosted by the unveiling of a range of fresh artificial intelligence technology and partnerships by its parent company, Google.

The S&P 500 communication services sector experienced a 2.6% increase, while consumer discretionary and technology stocks each gained 1.9%. The Nasdaq Composite, with its heavy tech orientation, reached a more than two-week high.

Investor focus will turn to the upcoming non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which will provide further clarity on the state of the labor market. Additionally, attention will be directed towards the personal consumption expenditures index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, scheduled for release on Thursday.

After the absence of hawkish surprises in Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole symposium, market stability prevailed on Monday. Investors are now shifting their focus to upcoming economic indicators, aiming to gauge how long the central bank will sustain elevated interest rates.

Catalent witnessed a 5.1% climb after reaching a settlement with activist investor Elliott Investment Management for a review.

As of 11:35 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed a gain of 157.55 points (0.46%), reaching 34,717.53. The S&P 500 marked an increase of 45.61 points (1.03%) at 4,478.92, and the Nasdaq Composite surged by 211.96 points (1.55%) to 13,917.09.

Verizon and AT&T also experienced gains exceeding 2% each following an upgrade by Citi to “buy” from “neutral” for the telecom companies.

PDD Holdings’ U.S.-listed shares soared by 17.4% after the e-commerce firm surpassed second-quarter revenue estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners with a ratio of 3.69-to-1 on the NYSE and 2.69-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq marked 37 new highs and 82 new lows.

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