U.S. stocks are rising to close out August as investors await jobs report By Investing.com

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Investing.com — U.S. stocks were rising to close out August on a positive note as investors await Friday’s jobs report for August.

At 11:03 ET (15:03 GMT), the was up 76 points or 0.2%, while the was up 0.2% and the was up 0.4%.

Wall Street’s main indices closed higher Wednesday, the fourth straight winning session. The blue-chip rose 0.1%, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.4% and the tech-heavy 0.5%.

That said, these major averages are still on course to record monthly losses. The DJIA and Nasdaq Composite are each lower by around 2% in August, while the S&P 500 is off by 1.4%.

Jobless claims, core PCE index in focus

Recent economic data, including second quarter , and , all point to a cooling U.S. economy, raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon be finished with its rate-hiking cycle.

There is more data to digest Thursday. were 228,000 last week, lower than the expected 235,000, while the annual inflation measure was 4.2%, meeting expectations.

The Fed has lifted its federal funds rate from near-zero to a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, the highest level in more than 20 years, but is widely expected to stand pat in September.

UBS sees upside for S&P 500 next year 

Even with the cooling economic data, UBS is confident about the future, with the Swiss banking giant seeing a June 2024 price target on the of 4,700, compared with its 2023 year-end target of 4,500, around the current level.

“Stocks should be able to climb a bit higher in 2024 as earnings growth improves and the market begins to anticipate eventual Fed rate cuts if inflation continues to trend to the Fed’s target,” UBS said.

The blue-sky scenario could take the S&P 500 to 5,200, UBS added, if artificial intelligence really proves to be a game-changer.

Salesforce gains on strong cloud demand

Earnings season continues to wind down. Dollar General (NYSE:) disappointed on revenue and profit and gave a weaker than expected forecast. Shares fell 15.6%. Broadcom (NASDAQ:) and Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:) report after the close.

Salesforce (NYSE:) stock rose 3.9% after the software group increased its annual revenue outlook, citing strong demand for its cloud products.

Crude gains after massive U.S. inventory draw

Oil prices edged higher Thursday, as traders digested the conflicting influences of disappointing business activity data from China, the world’s biggest crude importer, and a hefty draw in inventories. 

The reported Wednesday that U.S. oil inventories shrank by 10.6 million barrels last week, as refiners ramped up production before the Labor Day weekend, which usually signals peak U.S. summer demand. 

Markets were also watching for any more disruptions in production stemming from Idalia, which made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, and has since been downgraded from hurricane status back to a tropical storm. 

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


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