| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Wall St rallies as cooling inflation boosts peak interest rate bets

U.S. stock indexes rallied on Tuesday as cooler-than-expected inflation data boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve was done raising interest rates and could start cutting them next year.

The benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) briefly crossed the 4,500 mark for the first time in two months and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) was trading at a fresh two-month high after data showed that growth in U.S. consumer prices eased in October, in part due to lower gasoline prices.

In the 12 months through October, the CPI climbed 3.2% after rising 3.7% in September, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast a 3.3% gain on a year-on-year basis.

Core prices, which exclude the volatile food and energy components, rose 4.0% compared with economists’ estimate of a 4.1% increase.

“We’re happy to see both headline and core CPI come in lower than expected. It’s telling us that the Fed is done, there’s nothing left for it to do here,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at hedge fund Great Hill Capital at New York.

“This is what the Fed was looking for, slowing inflation, slowing labor market and the economy’s holding up at the same time.”

Following the data, traders erased bets the Fed will raise borrowing costs any further and piled into bets on rate cuts starting by May. They are currently pricing in a 100% chance the Fed will hold rates next month, as per CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

U.S. Treasury yields dropped, with the two-year yield , which best reflects short-term interest rate expectations, sliding to two-week lows.

  • Reuters