US Stocks Rise in Choppy Trade

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose in choppy trading on Wall Street Wednesday after another strong signal on the job market.

The government reported that the number of job openings in November was higher than expected, but that also keeps pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates high to fight inflation.

The S&P 500 rose 1.1% as of noon Eastern after a choppy bout of earlier trading. The benchmark index had been down 0.2% earlier in the morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 235 points, or 0.7%, to 33,369 and the Nasdaq rose 1%.

The Fed's benchmark lending rate stands at a range of 4.25% to 4.5%, up from close to zero following seven increases last year. It forecast that the rate will reach a range of 5% to 5.25% by the end of 2023 and it isn't calling for a rate cut before 2024. The Fed releases minutes from its latest policy meeting later Wednesday.

The latest update on job openings is the first set of employment data that Wall Street will get this week. The government will release its weekly unemployment report on Thursday and its closely watched monthly employment report, for December, on Friday.

The strong jobs market helped insulate a weakening economy from slipping into a recession in 2022. The Fed, though, is trying to cool inflation with its rate increases and that also means it needs to cool employment. While healthy employment is normally good for the broader economy, it raises the risk that the Fed's battle against inflation could wound the economy enough that it falls into a recession.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which influences mortgage rates, fell to 3.70% from 3.75% late Tuesday. The yield on the two-year Treasury fell to 4.34% from 4.38%.

The latest updates for the job market comes amid more layoffs within the technology sector, which has been dealing with falling demand as inflation squeezes consumers.

Investors cheered several companies that decided to make cuts to their workforces as they face weaker demand. Cloud computing software company Salesforce rose 2.8% after it announced it is laying off about 10% of its workforce. Video hosing platform Vimeo rose 3.6% after reportedly notifying workers about job cuts.

Coinbase jumped 12.3% following the announcement of a $100 million settlement with New York State over what regulators called failures in the cryptocurrency trading platform's systems for spotting possible criminal activity.