by Johann M Cherian and Noel Randewich

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(Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange ended higher on Wednesday as stronger-than-expected retail sales data underscored the resilience of the U.S. economy, but also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve (Fed ) is making rate hikes in the coming months, which has limited gains.

The Dow Jones index gained 0.11% to 34,128.05 points.

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The broader S&P-500 gained 0.28% to 4,147.61 points.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced for its part by 0.92% to 12,070.59 points.

A report published today by the US Department of Commerce shows that retail sales in the United States increased by 3% in January, beating the consensus which came out at +1.8%, notably under the effect of the jump in vehicle purchases.

The data, released a day after a report showed an acceleration in consumer prices in the country last month, adds fuel to speculation that the Fed will make at least two more rate hikes this year to raise its rate. manager beyond 5%.

Since the start of the year, the S&P-500 has risen 8%, helped in particular by high-growth stocks, such as the tech giants, which were badly shaken last year on the sidelines of the aggressive monetary policy. of the Fed against inflation. The Nasdaq has recovered 15% in 2023.

The quarterly results season, which was better than expected, also brought a bit of optimism to investors. While more than half of S&P-500 companies reported results, nearly 70% beat expectations, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

After reporting better-than-expected results, thanks to the rebound in the travel sector, Airbnb posted a 13% increase.

Roblox jumped 26% after beating quarterly forecasts.

Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Tesla recorded increases of between 1.40% and 2.40%.

( Jean Terzian)

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