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NEW YORK: The Nasdaq rose on Wednesday as easing long-term US Treasury yields boosted megacap stocks, while investors shrugged off hotter-than-expected inflation data and awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.

US producer prices increased more than expected in September amid higher costs for energy products, but underlying inflation pressures at the factory gate continued to moderate.

Yield on the benchmark 10-year notes fell to a roughly two-week low as prices rose on safe-haven flows due to fighting in the Middle East that has persisted for a fifth straight day.

“The massive increase in bond yields in the last few weeks has clearly tightened financing conditions,” said Raphael Olszyna-Marzys, international economist at J Safra Sarasin.

“If this tightening is sustained, then the Fed itself doesn’t have to increase rates further given that the market is doing the Fed’s job.” Megacap stocks Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet , Tesla, Nvidia and Meta Platforms advanced between 0.3% and 1.7%.

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman repeated her view that the US central bank will probably need to tighten monetary policy further, while Fed Governor Christopher Waller said the central bank is in a position to watch and see what happens with interest rates.

Focus will now be on minutes from the Fed’s September meeting at 2 p.m. ET and Thursday’s consumer inflation data for clues on the interest rate outlook.

For the day, real estate and communication services were the top S&P 500 sector gainers.

Energy stocks were the worst hit, hurt by a 4.6% fall in Exxon Mobil as the oil and gas producer agreed to buy rival Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $59.5 billion. Pioneer was up 1.0%.

At 11:54 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.08 points, or 0.01%, at 33,737.22, the S&P 500 was up 3.99 points, or 0.09%, at 4,362.23, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 50.91 points, or 0.38%, at 13,613.76.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Middle East raged on as Israel pounded Gaza to root out Hamas and deployed forces north of the densely populated Palestinian enclave, where the militants said they were still fighting after their cross-border assault.

Israel’s death toll rose to 1,200 with over 2,700 wounded, its military said, while retaliatory strikes on the blockaded enclave have killed 1,055 people and wounded 5,184, according to Gaza’s Hamas authorities.

The debut of German luxury sandal maker Birkenstock Holding on the New York Stock Exchange will also be keenly watched. The company’s shares are indicated to open in the range of $39 to $41 versus its IPO price of $46.

Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 1.4% after the pharmacy chain operator said it has appointed Tim Wentworth as its new chief executive.

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