Stock Market Today: Dow ends flat, but remains on track for big November gains

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Stock Market Today: Dow ends flat, but remains on track for big November gains -- The Dow gave up some gains to close flat Wednesday, though remained on track to post big November gains amid fresh optimism that the economy will avoid recession and ongoing optimism of Fed rate cuts of early next year.

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average  rose 13 points, the S&P 500 fell 0.1%, and the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.2%. The Dow and S&P are on track to post gains of about 8% and 7% respectively in November, while the Nasdaq is eyeing an 11% gain for the month. 

General Motors surges on buyback plan, dividend boost

General Motors (NYSE: GM ) rose more 9% after detailing plans to launch an accelerated $10 billion stock buyback programme and hike its quarterly dividend by 33% next year as the automaker looks to return "significant capital" to shareholders.

The move followed a difficult year including costly labor strikes at a time when the company has had to scale back its EV plans, but Wedbush said it believes GM now has a "clear vision forward and remain confident in the company’s trajectory heading into FY24 with profitability and EV production the two largest focuses looking forward."

Intuit, Crowdstrike win big on earnings stage; Dollar Tree to review Family Dollar business

CrowdStrike Holdings (NASDAQ: CRWD ) rose 10% as the cybersecurity firm forecast fourth-quarter revenue above expectations, driven by resilient demand for its cybersecurity offerings.

Intuit Inc (NASDAQ: INTU ) rose 2% after reporting better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results, but unveiled softer guidance for earnings in its current quarter. The maker of well known tax preparation said, however, the was "prudent" amid an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop. 

Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR ) stock gained more than 4% after the retailer trimmed its full-year sales forecast but also said it was reviewing its Family Dollar business.

Treasury yields extend losses amid ongoing rate cut optimism 

Treasury yields added to losses from a day earlier amid ongoing rate cut bets following comments from Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller , who suggested on Tuesday that the U.S. central bank's monetary policy is "well-positioned" to cool inflation.

Waller, normally known as a hawkish voice at the Fed, added that should inflation continue to ease back down to the Fed's 2% target for "several more months," there is a chance that officials "could start lowering" interest rates.

The remarks were taken "as another sign that the Fed were done hiking rates, and investors moved to price in a noticeably more dovish path for rates over the year ahead," Deutsche Bank said in a Wednesday note.

'Soft landing' chorus grows following strong Q3 growth; inflation data eyed

The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, as gross domestic product increased at a 5.2% annualized rate last quarter, revised up from the previously reported 4.9% pace. 

The stronger growth spurred optimism that the economy likely to avoid recession and comes a day ahead of fresh inflation data.

The price consumption expenditures index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, is expected to have slowed to 0.1% pace on the month in November, from 0.4% in September. 

Oil gains ahead of OPEC+ meeting 

Oil U.S. crude climbed Wednesday, as investors weighed up an unexpected rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and a Black Sea supply disruptions ahead of crucial OPEC+ meeting to discuss future production levels. 

U.S. crude supplies by 1.6M barrels in the week ended Nov. 24, confounding expectations for a decline of 933,000 barrels. On the supply side, meanwhile, a severe storm in the Black Sea region has disrupted up to 2 million barrels per day of oil exports from Kazakhstan and Russia.

Still, investor attention remains largely focused on the meeting bwtween Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, a group known as OPEC+, amid expectations that the group could announce production cuts at its meeting on Thursday.

(Peter Nurse and Oliver Gray contributed to this report.)

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