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Wall Street gains, Treasury yields rise as debt ceiling talks progress

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were tentatively higher on Friday and benchmark Treasury yields extended their upward trajectory as market participants looked for signs of progress in the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington.

All three major U.S. stock indexes were modestly green, with little conviction or catalysts to spark a major move in the equities market.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was expected to participate in a panel on monetary policy later in the morning. His comments will be closely scrutinized for any clues regarding whether the central bank will press the rate hike pause button at next month’s meeting, and how soon it could begin to dial back its restrictive policy.

Powell does not like to surprise the markets,” said Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi in New York. I expect to hear some statements about inflation, and I expect him to leave the door open for a pause but also a rate hike.

Talks on Capitol Hill on raising the debt ceiling appear to be moving forward, with Democratic negotiators saying they’ve made “steady progress” toward a deal that would avoid a U.S. credit default.

“Stuff that never happened before happens all the time,” Young added. “We’ve seen this movie before, and we’ve had government shutdowns. It adds political fuel to an economic fire that’s already burning under the surface.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.08 points, or 0.2%, to 33,601.99, the S&P 500 gained 9.46 points, or 0.23%, to 4,207.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.00 points, or 0.02%, to 12,691.84.

European stocks climbed and the German DAX touched a record high as optimism about a debt ceiling deal spread across the Atlantic.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.93% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.35%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.05%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.15% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.77%.

Yields for 10-year Treasuries continued to climb, touching their highest level in two months in advance of Powell’s remarks.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 15/32 in price to yield 3.7032%, from 3.648% late on Thursday.

The 30-year bond last fell 25/32 in price to yield 3.9466%, from 3.901% late on Thursday.

The greenback pulled back from a multi-month high as robust economic data this week has dimmed hopes that the Federal Reserve would cut its key policy rate before year-end.

The dollar index fell 0.21%, with the euro up 0.18% to $1.0788.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.14% versus the greenback at 138.55 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.2427, up 0.15% on the day.

Oil prices bounced back from Thursday’s losses of more than 1% as the risk of U.S. debt default faded.

U.S. crude rose 0.18% to $71.99 per barrel and Brent was last at $76.36, up 0.66% on the day.

Gold inched higher in opposition to the dollar’s weakness.

Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,959.19 an ounce.


(Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Naomi Rovnick and Ankur Banarjee; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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