Wall St. rises as Fed signals slowdown in rate hikes

STORY: Wall Street's main indexes ended Wednesday with solid gains after the Federal Reserve's November meeting minutes showed interest rate hikes may soon slow.

The Fed minutes indicated that a "substantial majority" of policymakers agreed it would "likely soon be appropriate" to slow the pace of interest rate hikes…

a change that would bode well for stocks, says Devon Drew, CEO of DFD Partners.

“The Fed’s thinking is that, listen, we want to avoid a recession but we know that we have to combat inflation, right, so we’re going to have more rate hikes, but less aggressive than what we’ve seen in the past. So that was very favorable Fed minutes.... [FLASH] So for us, the Fed minutes and the market actually rising is a very positive indicator of a rally coming up.”

The Dow rose almost three-tenths of a percent, the S&P 500 gained nearly sixth-tenths of a percent and the Nasdaq added roughly 1%.

Wednesday also brought a mixed bag of economic data. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week and U.S. business activity contracted for a fifth straight month in November. Consumer sentiment ticked higher and home sales rose above expectations.

It was a good day for Big Tech, with shares of Alphabet, Amazon and Meta Platforms all closing higher.

And Tesla jumped nearly 8% with Citigroup upgrading the electric-vehicle maker's stock to "neutral" from a "sell" rating.

Trading volume was thin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The U.S. stock market is open for a half-session on Friday.