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Wall Street rallies as Powell buoys soft landing hopes



<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><head><title>LIVE MARKETS-Wall Street rallies as Powell buoys soft landing hopes</title></head><body>

Main U.S. indexes end green; regional banks outperform

Powell comments bolster peak rate bets

Real est leads S&P 500 sector gainers; comm svcs sole loser

Dollar slips; crude slides >2%; gold up ~1.8%; bitcoin up ~3%

U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield tumbles to ~4.21%

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WALL STREET RALLIES AS POWELL BUOYS SOFT LANDING HOPES

Wall Street rallied on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell offered fresh optimism on its progress to slow the pace of inflation to the U.S. central bank's 2% target without restricting economic growth more than necessary.

The Dow .DJI surged to within 2% of its record closing high set in January 2022 and the S&P 500 .SPX closed at its highest level this year, less than 5% off its highest-ever peak, also achieved in January 2022. The Nasdaq .IXIC advanced too.

Ten of the 11 S&P 500 sectors rose, led by energy .SPNY, with communication services .SPLRCL the sole decliner.

While Powell reiterated in remarks at Spelman College in Atlanta that it was too early to declare the Fed's inflation fight over, he indicated increased confidence that the current 5.25%-5.50% policy rate is likely adequate to finish the job.

"The fact that Powell highlighted policy is restrictive and that's going to slow the economy, that reinforces what the market’s very comfortable with," said Joe LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in New York.

"The market is making the bet, and I think properly so, that Powell is now convinced that rates are high enough and that he's not going to be pushing toward any more rate hikes," he said. "If there's ever any doubt of that, that doubt is gone today."

Economic news on Friday also bolstered market hopes of a soft landing for the economy.

U.S. manufacturing remained subdued in November, with factory employment declining further as hiring slowed and layoffs rose, more evidence that the economy was losing momentum after robust growth last quarter, a survey said.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) survey followed on the heels of data on Thursday that showed moderate growth in consumer spending and subsiding inflation in October. Economic activity is cooling as higher interest rates crimp demand.

"The decline in the employment component I think is getting a lot of people betting that the payroll employment number is going to be weaker," said Steven Ricchiuto, U.S. chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA LLC in New York, referring to next week's unemployment report for November.

Total non-farm payroll employment is expected to have increased 180,000 last month, up from 150,000 in October, while the unemployment rate stays the same at 3.9%, according to a preliminary Reuters poll on data to be released on Dec. 8.

Following is a snapshot of closing market prices:



(Herbert Lash)

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FOR FRIDAY'S LIVE MARKETS POSTS AFTER 0900 EST/1400 GMT:


BUYBACKS TO SPUR EQUITIES TO NEW HIGHS IN 2024 -REYNOLDS - CLICK HERE


BULLION FUNDS 'MINE GOLD' IN NOVEMBER - CLICK HERE


INDIVIDUAL INVESTOR SENTIMENT NOT IN A GOOD PLACE -AAII - CLICK HERE


FRIDAY DATA FAILS TO IMPRESS: MANUFACTURING PMI, CONSTRUCTION SPENDING - CLICK HERE


U.S. STOCKS MIXED AS MARKET AWAITS POWELL REMARKS - CLICK HERE


EXCITEMENT BUILDS AS THE DOW NEARS RECORD HIGHS - CLICK HERE


FOR FRIDAY'S LIVE MARKETS POSTS BEFORE 0900 EST/1400 GMT - CLICK HERE










Closing Market Prices https://tmsnrt.rs/4816Xaj

(Terence Gabriel is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)

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