Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Stocks rallied Tuesday, building on their strong November gains, as Wall Street cheered new U.S. inflation data that raised hope of the Federal Reserve wrapping up its rate-hiking campaign.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 451 points, or 1.3%. The S&P 500 rallied 1.7%, briefly trading above the key 4,500 level. The Nasdaq Composite also traded 2% higher.
Tuesday’s gains added to an already stellar performance this month for stocks. The S&P 500 and Dow are up 7.3% and 5.4%, respectively, in November. The Nasdaq is up 9.4%, on pace for its biggest one-month gain since January.
CPI was flat last month, while economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 0.1% month over month. So-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy prices, was also lower than expected and the slowest in two years. This instilled optimism into the market that the Federal Reserve could finally end its rate-hiking campaign for good.
“There’s optimism that inflation is cooling to a level where the Federal Reserve can take its foot off the brake,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
Following the report, fed-funds futures showed traders had removed any chance of a hike in December, from 14% odds prior.
The 10-year Treasury yield, which shocked stock investors by leaping over 5% in October, tumbled below 4.5% following the soft inflation report.
Leading the equity rally Tuesday was the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund, which tracks the tech stocks in the S&P 500. The fund hit a record led by Microsoft as investors returned to the sector that has been one of the hardest hit by rate hikes. Shares of Tesla gained more than 4%.
Bank stocks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo jumped on the hope that the economy could skirt a recession.
Shares of Home Depot, which were up nearly 6% on better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, led the gains for the Dow. Enphase Energies, Boston Properties and SolarEdge Technologies — each up more than 10% — led the S&P higher.