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S&P 500 ends slightly higher as Tesla rallies

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(Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed higher on Friday but off session highs, as a Tesla rally failed to galvanize the broader market on the eve of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting and inflation data next week.

Tesla Inc shares climbed and were set for their longest winning streak since January 2021, after General Motors Co agreed to use the company’s Supercharger network. GM shares were also higher.

The benchmark S&P 500 closed Thursday 20% above its Oct. 12 finishing low, heralding the start of a new bull market as defined by some market participants.

“It’s maybe the most hated bull market in the history of bull markets,” said Tim Holland, chief investment officer of investment platform Orion OCIO.

“Sentiment was terribly depressed going into year-end and still remains on the bearish side.”

A megacap stocks rally, better-than-expected earnings season and expectations that the Fed was nearing the end of its rate-hiking cycle have supported Wall Street this year despite concerns about a looming recession and sticky inflation.

Shares in tech companies advanced after retreating earlier this week.

Traders see a 72% chance of the U.S. central bank holding interest rates at the current 5%-5.25% range in its June 13-14 policy meeting, according to CMEGroup’s Fedwatch tool.

Consumer prices data on Tuesday will help shape expectations around further moves by the Fed, with traders already pricing in a 50% chance of another 25-basis-point rate hike in July.

The CBOE Volatility index, commonly known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, sank to the lowest level since February 2020 before regaining some ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 43.63 points, or 0.13%, to 33,877.24, the S&P 500 gained 5.02 points, or 0.12%, to 4,298.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.62 points, or 0.16%, to 13,259.14.

Target Corp slipped after Citi downgraded the big-box retailer to “neutral,” saying sales could fall further this year due to economic challenges.

Adobe Inc rose after Wells Fargo upgraded it to “overweight,” saying the Photoshop software maker was poised to benefit from the generative AI boom.

Netflix Inc gained following a report that the streaming giant’s subscriptions jumped after its crackdown on password sharing.

 

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Richard Chang)

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