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Wall Street eyes higher open on first trading day of 2023


2023-01-03T13:45:33Z

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open higher on the first trading day of the year, with a slew of economic data on tap this week as well as the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes that would provide more clues on the path of future interest rate hikes.

The main U.S. stock indexes ended 2022 with their steepest annual losses since 2008 against the backdrop of the Fed’s fastest pace of rate hikes since the 1980s.

The benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) shed 19.4% in 2022, marking a roughly $8 trillion decline in market cap, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) fell 33.1%, dragged down by growth stocks.

Most rate-sensitive technology and other growth stocks such as Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) were up between 0.8% and 0.9% in premarket trading on Tuesday, amid a decline in U.S. Treasury yields.

“The good news is that we can put the year in the rearview mirror. The bad news is that 2023 could be a bumpy ride, at least for the first few months,” Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Financial, said.

As investors return from the New Year holidays, focus is now on the likelihood of a recession following aggressive monetary policy tightening.

The head of the International Monetary Fund has also cautioned that 2023 is poised to be a tough year as the U.S., Europe and China all experience weakening economic activity.

Investors on Wednesday will closely monitor the minutes of the Fed’s December policy meeting, when the central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points after four back-to-back 75-bps hikes and signaled rates could stay higher for a while.

Economic data due this week includes December’s nonfarm payrolls report as well as manufacturing data, which will give further clues on the strength of the economy and the labor market.

Money market participants see a 68.8% chance the Fed will raise the benchmark rate by 25 bps to 4.50%-4.75% in February, with the rates peaking at 4.94% by June.

At 8:11 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 109 points, or 0.33%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 13.25 points, or 0.34%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 55.75 points, or 0.51%.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) fell 4.1% as the electric-vehicle maker missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly deliveries.

U.S.-listed Chinese firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , JD.com Inc , Pinduoduo Inc (PDD.O) and Bilibili Inc rose between 2.6% and 5.5% on post-COVID recovery hopes, despite bleak economic data from the country.