Treasuries rose as the latest economic data revealed a slight slowdown, fueling expectations that the Federal Reserve could end its most aggressive rate hike campaign in decades.
The ten-year yield has dropped eight basis points to 4.45%. The S&P 500 was little altered after a wild rally that sent American stocks close to "overbought" territory. Walmart fell on a gloomy tone about the consumer outlook, while Macy's rose on a profit beat. Cisco Systems fell after a downbeat forecast. Oil fell below $73 per barrel, the lowest level since July.
On Thursday, Wall Street was focused on another set of economic statistics, with continuous claims for US unemployment benefits reaching their highest level in over two years. Factory output declined more than predicted, owing primarily to a strike-related slowdown at automakers and parts suppliers. Meanwhile, homebuilder sentiment peaked in 2023.
Fed's Cook stated that she is concerned about an unduly sharp economic downturn, citing strain in some industries as a result of tighter financial conditions. Loretta Mester, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, told CNBC that she hasn't decided whether another rate hike is still necessary, adding that authorities have time to assess how the economy is evolving.