Stock market today: Wall Street points higher on hopes for US debt ceiling breakthrough

May 19, 2023, 12:16 AM

The New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Markets are opening mostl...

The New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Markets are opening mostly higher on Wall Street Friday after a wild ride a day earlier. The S&P 500 added 0.4% in the early going, following even bigger gains in Europe. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Wall Street pointed toward gains before the bell Friday, potentially setting up markets for their best week since March as optimism about a U.S. debt ceiling deal grew heading into the weekend.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 each rose 0.2% in premarket trading.

Hopes are high that the United States Congress would reach a deal to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt.

President Joe Biden, in Hiroshima for the Group of Seven summit of major industrialized nations, has said he’s confident about reaching a deal with Republicans to allow the U.S. government to increase its credit limit and borrow more.

The U.S. government is scheduled to run out of cash to pay its bills as soon as June 1 unless a deal is made, and economists say a U.S. federal default could have catastrophic consequences across financial markets and the economy.

Stocks have remained remarkably resilient since early April despite a long list of worries. A major reason for that is hope the Federal Reserve would take it easier on its hikes to rates, which have slowed inflation at the expense of risking a recession and knocking down prices across financial markets.

The widespread bet was that the Fed would take a pause at its next meeting in June. But Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan cooled some of those hopes in a prepared speech for the Texas Bankers Association.

In off-hours trading early Friday, Foot Locker slid more than 25% after the shoe and athletic gear retailer cut its full-year forecast after missing first-quarter sales and profit targets.

Deere & Co. jumped more than 3% after the farm equipment company beat Wall Street forecasts and raised its full-year outlook.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 added 0.8%, Germany’s DAX jumped 0.7% and Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to finish at 30,808.35. That was the highest close for the index in about 33 years. Data on Japan’s consumer price index for April showed a rise of 3.4% from the previous year, indicating inflationary pressures were subsiding as prices eased in the rest of the world.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6% to 7,279.50. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.9% to 2,537.79.

Chinese shares fell on renewed worries set off by signs that an extended lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic hurt sales. Also weighing on Chinese shares were inflationary pressures and geopolitical risks, analysts said.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 1.4% to 19,450.57, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% to 3,283.54.

“While the broader risk environment has been singlehandedly uplifted by progress around the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations, Chinese equities continue to struggle for gains,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose $1.10 to $72.96 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.15 to $77.01 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar declined to 138.37 Japanese yen from 138.66 yen. The euro cost $1.0811, up from $1.0777.

___

Kageyama reported from Tokyo; Ott reported from Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Stock market today: Wall Street points higher on hopes for US debt ceiling breakthrough