Inflation is cooling, and Wall Street loves it

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Stocks surged Tuesday morning after the US government reported that wholesale prices rose at a far less dramatic rate than expected. That news come just a few days after another report showed that the pace of consumer price increases was also slowing.

The Dow was up 250 points, or 0.7%, in late morning trading. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose 1.3% and 2% as well. Investors are hoping that the cooling inflation pressures will lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by smaller amounts in the next few months, following four consecutive historically large hikes.

Tech stocks also got a boost from the surprise news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) bought a stake in chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor during the third quarter.

Shares of Taiwan Semi (TSM) skyrocketed more than 12%. The benchmark Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX), which has Taiwan Semi (TSM), Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD), Nvidia (NVDA) and other chip leaders in it, was up 4%.

But it’s the good news on the inflation front that is giving investors the biggest cause for jubilation. Traders are now betting that it’s almost a slam dunk that the Federal Reserve will raise rates by only a half-percentage point, instead of three-quarters of a point, at its next meeting on December 14.

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