Wall Street pushed the stock market higher a day after the Federal Reserve hinted that interest-rate hikes may be coming to an end, with traders now anticipating Friday's jobs report.
The S&P 500 gained nearly 2% in a rally fueled by oversold conditions and positioning, its best session since April. The VIX - the market's "fear gauge" - fell below 16 and breached a key technical level. Tesla led the way in megacap gains. Apple rose ahead of its earnings report. Long-term Treasury yields fell 13 basis points to 4.8%, outperforming short-term yields. The value of the dollar fell. The pound rose as the Bank of England resisted talk of rate cuts. The price of oil surpassed $82.
In the run-up to the jobs report, a report showed that labour productivity in the United States increased by the most in three years, helping to offset the inflationary impact of recent wage growth. Continuing jobless claims increased for the sixth week in a row, indicating that those who have lost their jobs are having more difficulty finding new ones. Economists predict that nonfarm payrolls will increase by 180,000 in October, following a gain of 336,000 in September.
While the Federal Open Market Committee maintained the possibility of additional policy action in response to strong economic growth, Jerome Powell speculated that high Treasury yields could instead help the Fed keep monetary conditions restrictive in order to wring out the inflationary excesses of this business cycle.