U.S. stocks rose in Tuesday’s uneventful pre-Thanksgiving session after starting the week lower.
Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said Tuesday restoring price stability remains a top priority for himself and other members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which sets monetary policy.
“We are committed to using our tools to put inflation on a sustainable downward trajectory to 2%,” she said at an event hosted by her bank.
Mester’s counterpart in St. Louis, Fed President James Bullard, is scheduled to speak later Tuesday.
The remarks followed comments by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Mary Daly Monday, who said officials may pick up the US central bank’s key interest rate above 5% if inflation does not decline. Daley also noted that writing off a 75 basis point hike in December was “premature” and “nothing is out of the question.”
In commodity markets, oil pared losses from Monday after falling to its lowest levels since January on concerns that fresh blockades in China and reported output increases from Saudi Arabia and OPEC could weigh on demand. Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has since played down the prospect of an output increase that is helping oil climb out of slumps. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose to around $81 a barrel after hitting $75 a barrel on Monday.
On the corporate side, shares of Zoom Video Communications (ZM) fell nearly 8% after the video conferencing platform lowered its annual revenue outlook and foresees additional challenges posed by declining demand for online dating.
A sharp rise in COVID cases in China has sparked a wave of new restrictions on the world’s largest economy just weeks after investors welcomed the end of the country’s aggressive lockdowns.
“The specter of COVID still hangs over the Chinese economy, threatening to cause further turmoil for supply chains and commodity demand,” said Suzanne Streeter, senior investment and market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, in a note on Tuesday.
The S&P 500 started the holiday-shortened Thanksgiving week lower than in previous years. The Monday of Thanksgiving week has historically seen the index trade slightly lower, down 0.01%, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group. In years when the index has fallen 10% year-to-date or more, such as 2022, performance is more positive, with an average gain of 0.37%.
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc