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Stock Market’s Newfound Optimism Faces Test as Fed Meets


Wall Street has welcomed a change of tone at the start of 2023: Fears of a severe economic downturn are receding as slowing inflation raises hopes that the Federal Reserve will soon be done raising interest rates.In the first four weeks of the year, this optimism has resulted in a 6.2 percent jump in the S&P 500 and an even bigger rally among big technology stocks. Tech stocks were among the worst performers in 2022 because of their sensitivity to rising interest rates, and their rally now is helping to drive the broad market higher.The gains have been led by a steady flow of data that shows the economy continues to grow, while inflationary pressure is easing. On Tuesday, for example, a key measure of pay and benefits — the Emplo …

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