By Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street surged on Tuesday and Treasury yields dropped amid light, pre-holiday trading as a smattering of weak data had investors rejiggering their expectations regarding U.S. monetary policy.
All three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session sharply higher, as investors looked ahead to crucial economic data due later this week that could sway the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions in the coming months.
U.S. economic indicators released on Tuesday showed dampening consumer sentiment and job openings dropping to their lowest level since March 2021, offering evidence that the central bank’s efforts to rein in inflation by throwing cold water on the economy are having their intended effect.
“Today’s data indicates that consumers are being cautious,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “And a cautious consumer bodes well for efforts to control inflation; if consumers stop spending, prices will drop.”
But as market participants drift toward a three-day U.S. holiday weekend, volumes are likely to be unusually light, which can bring about increased volatility.
“There aren’t that many people around to sell stock, and the people who are around are interested in buying, it seems,” Tuz added. “It doesn’t take all that much to get the market going.”
Data due as the week draws to a close include August payrolls, July PCE inflation and the Commerce Department’s second take on April-June GDP.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 292.69 points, or 0.85%, to 34,852.67, the S&P 500 gained 64.32 points, or 1.45%, to 4,497.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 238.63 points, or 1.74%, to 13,943.76.
European shares closed at a two-week high with a boost from the mining sector as Beijing’s recent policy moves to jump-start China’s languid economy fueled demand hopes.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.97% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.45%.
Emerging market stocks rose 1.11%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.35% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.18%.
U.S. Treasury yields retreated after a sharp fall in U.S. job openings increased the likelihood of a Fed rate hike pause.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 24/32 in price to yield 4.1178%, down from 4.212% late on Monday.
The 30-year bond last rose 31/32 in price to yield 4.2303%, from 4.289% late on Monday.
The greenback lost ground against a basket of world currencies, dipping into negative territory after the soft economic reports.
The dollar index fell 0.61%, with the euro up 0.61% to $1.0883.
The yen strengthened 0.50% versus the greenback at 145.81 per dollar but still hovered close to last year’s intervention range, while sterling was last trading at $1.2647, up 0.35% on the day.
Oil prices rose as the dollar softened, while Hurricane Idalia bore down on Florida’s Gulf Coast, threatening supply in a tightening market.
U.S. crude rose 1.32% to settle at $81.16 per barrel, while Brent settled at $85.49, up 1.27% on the day.
Gold prices gathered upward momentum in the wake of weaker than expected U.S. data, which could give the central bank some wiggle room to ease its hawkish stance.
Spot gold added 0.9% to $1,937.14 an ounce.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; editing by Susan Fenton, Mark Heinrich and Cynthia Osterman)