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U.S. stocks rise as Treasury yields ease; Fed minutes up next

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— U.S. stocks were rising as Treasury yields continued to ease, while investors await the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September meeting. 

At 11:01 ET (15:01 GMT), was up 68 points or 0.2%, while the was up 0.2%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.6%.

The main indices on Wall Street closed higher Tuesday as dovish comments from a few Federal Reserve officials fueled hopes the central bank is nearing the end of its interest rate increases.

The 30-stock Dow ended Monday 135 points, or 0.4%, higher, the benchmark S&P gained 0.5%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up 0.6%.

Fed minutes in focus

Sentiment on Wall Street has picked up this week as yields on U.S. government bonds have eased, both on safe-haven bids due to the war in the Middle East as well as dovish remarks from Federal Reserve officials throughout this week.

These comments continued Tuesday, when Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic suggested there was no longer the need for the central bank to raise interest rates hikes again this year. The eased back to 4.59% on Wednesday.

Attention now turns to the upcoming release of from the Fed’s September gathering, when the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee opted to keep borrowing costs steady.

At the time, the Fed signaled that another rate rise may be required this year to help corral stubbornly elevated inflation. The recent shift in tone has created doubt that another hike is coming, and investors will be looking for some form of guidance.

September producer prices 

There will be more appearances by Fed officials on Wednesday, including from , and , but most eyes will be on the week’s first big inflation report, the September PPI release/

The September headline number rose 2.2%, more than the expected 1.6% for the year, and 0.5% for the month, more than the expected 0.3% from August. Core PPI rose 2.7%, more than the expected 2.3% for the year and 0.3% for the month, more than the expected 0.2%.

Exxon Mobil lines up Pioneer

In corporate news, Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:) has agreed to purchase rival Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:) for nearly $60 billion in an all-stock deal, in what would be the biggest acquisition by any company so far this year. Pioneer shares rose 0.7% while Exxon shares fell 4.4%.

Crude hands back some of the week’s gains

Oil prices retreated Wednesday but traders are still grappling with the potential of supply disruptions due to the turmoil in the Middle East.

The market has calmed down significantly after both crude benchmark contracts rose just over 4% on Monday, but fears remain of political and economic contagion from the fighting ignited by Saturday’s attacks by Hamas on Israel.

Market participants will also be on the lookout for U.S. weekly oil inventory data from the industry body , due a day later than usual following Monday’s Columbus Day holiday.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)

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