By Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika Biswas
(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes jumped on Friday after a report said the Federal Reserve will likely debate on signaling plans for a smaller interest rate hike in December, reversing declines set off by social media firms after Snap Inc’s ad warning.
Some Fed officials have begun sounding out their desire to slow down the pace of increases soon, according to the Wall Street Journal, and how to signal plans to approve a smaller increase in December.
“The hopes that the Fed may temper or take the foot off the gas pedal slightly is helping the market,” said Andre Bakhos, managing member at Ingenium Analytics LLC in Plainsboro, New Jersey.
Stock markets have been hammered by worries of aggressive rate-hiking cycle tipping the U.S. economy into a recession, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hitting fresh 15-year highs earlier in the session.
Traders are still widely expecting a fourth 75-basis-point hike at the central bank’s November meeting. [FEDWATCH]
The report helped markets recoup declines from earlier in the session when Snap Inc lost 28.96% after posting its slowest quarterly revenue growth in five years as advertisers cut spending due to inflation and geopolitical woes.
Other companies that rely heavily on ad revenue like Alphabet Inc and Meta Platforms Inc fell 0.24% and 2.40%, respectively, pulling the S&P 500 communication services sector index down 0.4%.
“It’s not uncommon for companies to cut back on advertising spending during concerns of an economic slowdown,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.
“Right now you don’t want to be in a Snap or a Meta, and it’s probably going to transfer over to Alphabet.”
At 10:17 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 345.00 points, or 1.14%, at 30,678.59, the S&P 500 was up 38.54 points, or 1.05%, at 3,704.32, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 77.29 points, or 0.73%, at 10,692.13.
Third-quarter reporting season so far has been better-than-feared, prompting analysts to nudge up their earnings expectations for S&P 500 companies to a 3.1% increase from 2.8% earlier in the week, according to Refinitiv data.
It is still well below the 11.1% rise that was forecast at the start of July.
Thanks to the earnings-driven gains from earlier this week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are set for their best week in six, while the Dow eyed its biggest weekly gain since late June.
Among Dow components, Verizon Communications Inc shed 5.1% as its profit slid 23% and the carrier missed estimates for wireless subscriber additions.
American Express fell 5.7% after it built bigger provisions to prepare for potential defaults as an economic downturn looms.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.57-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and 29 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 12 new highs and 196 new lows.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur)