Stocks wobble with Federer Powell on deck

U.S. stocks took a breather after ending a stellar month on Friday as investors waited for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to shed light on whether an interest rate cut was coming.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was near flatline, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.2%, or 80 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC ) led losses, falling 0.3%.

Stocks rose in November to post their best monthly performance since 2022, as optimism that the Fed was done with rate hikes morphed into growing optimism for rate cuts before the summer.

“This is one of the best months we’ve seen in the last decade,” eToro US investment analyst Callie Cox told Yahoo Finance Live. “I think it shows how a lot of investors were caught off guard by the Fed’s accommodative stance after the November 1 meeting.”

read more: What is the central bank’s rate hike suspension for bank accounts, CDs, loans and credit cards?

Because the focus will be on what Powell has to say about policy during his two shows on Friday, especially since October, which showed that inflation has cooled to its lowest level since 2021. We hope he will give clear guidance to the central bank’s thinking. A stream of Fed speakers took different positions.

Meanwhile, oil prices were flat as OPEC+’s additional production curbs failed to convince skeptical investors. WTI crude futures (CL=F) traded around $76 a barrel, while Brent (BZ=F) futures were below $83.

  • Tesla stock plunges after cyberdrug launch

    Tesla’s ( TSLA ) highly anticipated Cybertruck has delivered its first batch of vehicles to buyers. The market was unimpressed at the first blush, with shares of the all-electric automaker falling 2% in morning trading on Friday.

    The slide comes even after CEO Elon Musk faced the fallout from his interview at the New York Times (NYT) Dealbook conference earlier this week, in which he cursed advertisers fleeing his social media company X.

    Drivers interested in the Cybertruck base model will have to hand over $60,990, which is 50% more than the company estimated for the new model several years ago. “It’s not a large segment of the population that can afford it, especially where interest rates are,” said Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at auto research firm Edmonds.

    The truck’s debut has been a topsy-turvy year for Tesla, Yahoo Finance’s Josh Shafer reports, with its stock buoyed by the potential of its artificial intelligence targets while also coming under pressure amid multiple price cuts and weak margins.

  • Stocks trending in morning trade

    Here are some of the leading stocks on Yahoo Finance’s Trending Tickers page during Friday morning trading:

    Pfizer (PFE): The drug giant’s shares fell 6% on Friday morning after the company said it would not move forward with a study of its two-dose obesity treatment following a high number of side effects in patients involved in the trials.

    Bitcoin (BTC-USD): The world’s largest cryptocurrency sounded optimistic in December, nearing a 19-month high, as investors called for more capital investments into the industry on approval of a spot exchange-traded fund. Bitcoin rose almost 2% to surpass $38,000.

    ULTA: The beauty supply retailer continued its rally Friday morning, rising more than 12% after the company reported third-quarter results that were slightly better than Wall Street expected. The beauty retailer reported adjusted earnings of $5.07 per share, compared to the $5.00 expected.

    Marvel (MRVL): Shares fell 6% after the semiconductor company provided fourth-quarter guidance that fell short of expectations for top and bottom lines.

  • Stocks opened slightly lower ahead of Powell’s comments

    Wall Street sounded somewhat pessimistic at the end of the day, as investors looked to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for comments later this morning.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) was almost unchanged. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC ) fell 0.3%.

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