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Wall Street Edges Higher Wednesday     11/29 10:56

   Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday following 
some encouraging updates from U.S. companies, including General Motors.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks edged higher in morning trading on Wall Street 
Wednesday following some encouraging updates from U.S. companies, including 
General Motors.

   The S&P 500 rose 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18 points, or 
0.1%, to 35,437 as of 11:31 a.m. Eastern. The Nasdaq gained 0.1%.

   General Motors surged 9.4%. The company announced a big stock buyback, 
raised its dividend and told investors it won't have any trouble absorbing the 
costs of its new labor contract. The stock is still struggling overall and 
remains down about 6% for the year, while the S&P 500 is up more than 18% in 

   GM and its rivals agreed to new contracts with the United Auto Workers and 
Canadian auto workers in late October following strikes that lasted more than a 

   Ford rose 2.6% and Jeep maker Stellantis rose 5.6%.

   Technology companies were behind much of the gains following several strong 
financial updates. NetApp jumped 15% after easily beating analysts' forecasts 
for earnings in its latest quarter and raising its outlook for the year. 
TurboTax maker Intuit rose 3.1% and software maker Workday gained 11.1% 
following encouraging results and forecasts.

   Treasury yields fell, taking more pressure off of stocks. The yield on the 
10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, slipped to 4.28% from 4.33%. 
The yield on the 2-year Treasury fell sharply to 4.65% from 4.75%.

   Stocks rose in Europe and were mixed in Asia.

   On the losing end, Spam maker Hormel foods fell 4.1% after giving investors 
a weak profit forecast.

   Wall Street also received an encouraging economic update. The U.S. economy 
grew at a brisk 5.2% annual pace from July through September, the government 
reported Wednesday, an upgrade from its previous estimate of 4.9%.

   Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, rose at a 3.6% annual rate 
from July through September. That's still healthy, but a downgrade from the 
previous estimate of 4%. The report follows an encouraging survey on consumer 
confidence released Tuesday.

   The broader economy has remained resilient partly because of strong consumer 
spending, despite lingering pressure from inflation. Wall Street will be 
closely watching retailers as they move through the important holiday shopping 
season. A record 200.4 million consumers shopped online and in stores over the 
holiday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation.

   Sneaker and athletic apparel retailer Foot Locker rose 16.2% after reporting 
strong third-quarter earnings and giving investors an encouraging update on its 
financial forecast. Several other big retailers also gained ground. Nike rose 
1.8% and Lululemon Athletica rose 1.2%.

   Investors will get another key economic update on Thursday when the 
government releases its October data on the Federal Reserve's preferred measure 
of inflation. Economists expect that measure to continue easing, as it has been 
since the middle of 2022. The Federal Reserve will meet again in December to 
update its interest rate policy.

   Wall Street expects the Fed to keep its benchmark interest rate steady and 
is betting that it is finished hiking rates, which remain at their highest 
levels in two decades. The central bank has said it will base future rate 
decisions on the latest economic data, though recent statements from officials 
have boosted hopes that the most aggressive round of rate hikes is at an end.

   Christopher Waller, a member of the Fed's Board of Governors, signaled 
Tuesday that the central bank is likely finished raising rates and could cut 
rates as early as spring. Wall Street is betting that the Fed will start 
cutting rates by the middle of 2024.

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