US stocks posted their best day since 2020 on Thursday after new government data showed that price increases eased in October.
Investors cheered the development as an indication that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes may finally be cooling inflation.
That marked the biggest point gain for the Dow and also the biggest percentage jumps for the S&P and Nasdaq since spring 2020.
The Consumer Price Index, a key inflation gauge, rose 7.7% for the year ending in October. Although that is still uncomfortably high, it is down from 8.2% in September and well below analyst estimates of 8%. It is also the smallest year-over-year increase for CPI since a 7.5% jump in January.
Wall Street is hoping that the data will help convince the Fed to pull back on the size and pace of its next interest rate increases, which investors fear could send the economy into a recession. Fed funds futures are now pricing in about an 85% chance of a half-point increase, as opposed to three-quarters of a percentage point, at the central bank’s December 14 meeting. That’s up from roughly 57% on Wednesday.
As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.