Wall Street finishes higher as investors eye inflation data

  • Meta rises after reports of more layoffs
  • Fidelity National collapses over payments spin-off
  • Technology-related heavyweights are driving S&P 500 gains

February 13 (Reuters) – Wall Street closed higher on Monday as investors awaited inflation data likely to point the way for future Federal Reserve rate hikes, while Meta Platforms rose on a report that Facebook’s parent company was making fresh layoffs plans.

Meta (META.O) jumped after the Financial Times reported on Sunday that the company was preparing to announce a new round of job cuts, adding to last November’s layoffs.

Microsoft (MSFT.O), Nvidia (NVDA.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) also rose. Along with Meta, these technology-related heavyweights contributed more than any other stock to the S&P 500’s gains during the session.

Stifel helped Microsoft rise, raising its price target for the software company and saying it’s clearly looking to reverse Alphabet’s Google search dominance through its integration with ChatGPT.

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Investors are focusing on January’s inflation data, due Tuesday, to re-evaluate their bets on the central bank’s monetary policy stance.

Wall Street’s main indices lost ground last week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned interest rates may have to rise higher than expected as the central bank fights inflation.

“Today is just a natural reaction in the opposite direction after we saw some very strong selling pressure,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 46.50 points, or 1.15%, to 4,137.48 points, while the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 174.12 points, or 1.49%, to 11,892.24 . The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 374.45 points, or 1.11%, to 34,243.72.

So far this year, the S&P 500 is up about 8%, and the index remains about 14% below its record high from the close in January 2022.

Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS.N) crashed after the banking and payments processing conglomerate’s decision to spin off its merchant payments business.

Coca-Cola (KO.N) rose ahead of its earnings report due early Tuesday.

As quarterly U.S. earnings reports wind down, 69% of S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have beaten earnings expectations, according to Refinitiv data. Analysts expect earnings to have fallen nearly 3% year-on-year in the December quarter.

reporting by Johann M. Cherian in Bengaluru; Edited by Maju Samuel, Sriraj Kalluvila, Shinjini Ganguli and Deepa Babington

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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