PARIS (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange opened higher on Friday as investors bet the Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes will end faster than the central bank announced.

In early trading, the Dow Jones index gained 100.41 points, or 0.29%, to 34,508.47 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 0.43% to 4,444.80 points and the Nasdaq Composite by 0.58%, or 73.34 points, to 13,862.2 points.

Investors believe that the slowdown in US activity could force the central bank to halt its rate hikes, even as the Fed signaled on Wednesday evening that it would hike rates two more times to curb persistent inflation.

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment release at 2:00 p.m. GMT will give another indication of the state of the US economy.

“The Fed has a dual mandate, limiting inflation to 2% and maximizing employment,” said James Knightley, chief economist at ING.

“If, as we fear, unemployment starts to rise later in the year, monetary policy could move from a restrictive stance to a more neutral stance to optimize the achievement of both objectives.”

In values, Adobe rose by 4.8%, supported by the upward revision of its revenue outlook, while Intel (+1%) reacted to the announcement of an investment of up to 4, 6 billion dollars (4.20 billion euros) in a factory in Europe.

The Microsoft action continues to rise, nibbling 0.2%, after reaching a record high at the close on Thursday.

For its part, Virgin Galactic Holdings soared by 35%, the group having announced that its first commercial flight would take place at the end of June, followed by a second flight at the beginning of August.

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(Report Corentin Chapron, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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