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Wall Street mixed as investors digest economic data


Wall Street was mixed on Friday as investors assessed economic data and awaited a potential 50-basis point interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve at its policy meeting next week.

U.S. producer prices rose slightly more than expected in November amid a jump in the costs of services, but the trend is moderating, with annual inflation at the factory gate posting its smallest increase in 1-1/2 years, data showed.

“It’s not the end of the world. But certainly, a negative surprise for the markets,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “Bottom line is inflation is in a down-trend but month-on-month it’s hotter than expected. Markets always look at the monthly topline.”

However, in December, consumer sentiment improved, while inflation expectations eased to a 15-month low, a University of Michigan survey showed.

Futures trades suggest a 77% chance the Fed will raise interest rates by 50 basis points next week, with a 23% chance of a 75-basis point hike, with those odds little changed after Friday’s economic data.

Consumer prices data for November, due Tuesday, will provide fresh clues on the central bank’s monetary tightening plans.

Lululemon Athletica Inc (LULU.O) tumbled 13% after the Canadian athletic apparel maker forecast lower-than-expected holiday-quarter revenue and profit.

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) gained 4.9% after Wells Fargo upgraded the video streaming giant to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

Wall Street’s main indexes have fallen this week after logging two straight weekly gains. Weighing heavily on investors are fears of a potential recession next year due to extended the central bank’s rate hikes.

U.S. stocks ended a recent run of losses on Thursday after data showed initial jobless claims rose modestly last week, suggesting the labor market was deteriorating.

In afternoon trading, the S&P 500 was down 0.09% at 3,959.89 points.

The Nasdaq gained 0.03% to 11,085.67 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.23% at 33,704.10 points.

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, seven declined, led lower by energy (.SPNY), down 1.76%, followed by a 0.55% loss in health care (.SPXHC).

The energy index (.SPNY) was on track for a seventh straight session of losses, its longest losing streak since December 2018, as oil prices looked set for weekly losses on concerns about a recession.

Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O) jumped 3% after the chipmaker forecast current-quarter revenue above Wall Street estimates.

Boeing Co was up 0.4% after Reuters report the plane maker plans to announce a deal with United Airlines (UAL.O) for orders of 787 Dreamliner next week.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones within the S&P 500 (.AD.SPX) by a 1.3-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 5 new highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 154 new lows.

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