Stock market today: Dow notches slight gains on fresh signs of ebbing inflation

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Stock market today: Dow notches slight gains on fresh signs of ebbing inflation
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The Dow closed slightly higher Tuesday, as investors weighed up further data pointing to easing inflation and fresh geopolitical tensions amid media reports that Russian rockets had crossed into NATO-member Poland.   

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, or 56 points, the Nasdaq rose 1.45%, and the  S&P 500 rose 0.8%.

Two stray Russian rockets landed and killed two people in the NATO state of Poland, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed U.S. intelligence official. The Polish government called an urgent meeting of the national security committee.       

Russia's defence ministry denied its missiles had hit the Polish territory, calling the reports "a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation".

The news had briefly stoked geopolitical tensions, briefly lifting demand for safe-haven Treasuries and the dollar, but the safe-haven move faded and stocks resumed their rally amid signs that inflation is cooling. 

The producer price index rose 0.2% in October, well below the 0.4% rise expected, reinforcing “the notion that peak prices are behind us,” Stifel said in a note, following data last week showing slowing consumer prices.

The data added to growing expectations for a slower pace of rates, with just 19% of traders now expecting another 75 basis point rate hike next month, down from 48% in the previous week, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

As Treasury yields slipped, tech stocks advanced. Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) jumped more than 2%, with the latter attracting the attention of activist investor TCI Fund Management calling on the tech giant to cut costs and boost share buybacks.

Chip stocks also played a big role in the broader melt-up in tech, led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM ) after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRKa ) took a more than $4 billion stake in the chipmaker during the third quarter.

The stake in Taiwan Semiconductor from the ‘Oracle of Omaha,’ boosted sentiment on the chip sector, sparking a wave of bullish bets on other chipmakers including Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD ), NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA ) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ).

Walmart (NYSE: WMT ) jumped more than 6% higher, triggering a sea of green in retail stocks after upgrading full-year guidance following third-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates.

The better-than-expected results were driven by strength in Walmart’s food business, underpinned by strong consumer demand for lower-priced groceries.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) gained more than 1% after reporting quarterly results that topped estimates, though unchanged guidance took some gloss off the results “given high investor expectations surrounding the quarter,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.

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