US stocks end higher, Meta jumps as investors eye midterms

  • Meta Platforms rally after reports of job cuts
  • Apple slips as COVID-19 halts iPhone production in China
  • Closing indices: S&P 500 +0.96%, Nasdaq +0.85%, Dow +1.31%

Nov 7 (Reuters) – Wall Street ended sharply higher on Monday as investors focused on Tuesday’s midterm elections that will determine control of Congress, while the usual Meta Platform jumped on the report of job cuts at its parent Facebook.

Republicans are favored to win a majority in the House of Representatives in the election, with the Senate rated a toss-up by nonpartisan forecasters. Republicans can use their majority in either chamber to block Democratic President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“The likelihood that the Republicans take the House or the Senate is pretty high, so it guarantees some form of gridlock over the next few years. They will probably take tax hikes off the table, and any sort of large spending is potentially perceived as inflationary off the table,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird.

Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) jumped over 6% following reports that the company is planning to start large-scale layoffs this week. The stock has slumped more than 70% so far this year.

Microsoft shares were recently beaten (MSFT.O) and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) each rallied more than 2% and contributed heavily to the gain of the S&P 500 for the session.

This week’s focus will also be on US consumer price data for October, due out on Thursday, for clues about how fast the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are helping to cool down the economy.

Four Fed policymakers on Friday indicated they would consider a small rate hike at their next policy meeting, even though new data showed another month of robust job gains and only a small sign of progress in lowering inflation.

The merchant be divided on whether the Fed will raise interest rates by 50 basis points or 75 basis points at the US central bank’s meeting in December.

“All things being equal, whether the terminal rate sits at 4.5%, 5% or more, monetary policy is poised to have a negative impact on the economy heading into 2023,” investment strategist Glenmede wrote in a Monday note.

Unofficially, the S&P 500 rose 0.96% to end the session at 3,806.90 points.

The Nasdaq gained 0.85% to 10,564.52 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.31% to 32,827.00 points.

S&P 500 by market capitalization

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, eight rose, led by communications services (.SPLRCL) which was up 1.83%, followed by 1.73% energy gain (.SPNY).

All three major US indexes have fallen this year, along with the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) down 33% due to worries that aggressive monetary policy tightening could paralyze the US economy.

Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC.O) surged 66% after former US President Donald Trump hinted at another White House bid. The blank check firm has agreed to acquire social media startup Trump Media & Technology Group Corp.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) gained 4.1% after VillageMD, a primary care provider created by a pharmacy chain, said it would acquire Summit Health in a deal valued at nearly $9 billion.

Forward issues exceed the number of falls in the S&P 500 (.AD.SPX) by a ratio of 2.8-to-one.

S & P 500 posted 18 new highs and 15 new lows; Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 221 new lows.

The volume on the US exchanges was relatively light, with 10.5 billion shares traded, compared to an average of 11.8 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.

Reporting by Shubham Batra and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru, and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain; Editing by Maju Samuel, Chizu Nomiyama and Deepa Babington

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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