Hopes for a deal on the debt limit rose on Wall Street

NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended their gains for a second straight day on Thursday on rising optimism that a political agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling could be reached within days. Wall Street was further supported by retailer Walmart Inc, which released a pink full-year sales forecast.

The underlying S&P 500 index rebounded lower early in the session after news that the most senior Republican in Congress, Kevin McCarthy, said that an agreement to raise or suspend the government debt ceiling could be reached by the House of Representatives vote next week.

The Dow Jones closed up 0.34% to 33,535.91, the S&P 500 up 0.94% to 4,198.05 and the Nasdaq up 1.51% to 12,688,838.

Walmart Inc rose 1.30% to $151.47 after the retailer raised its full-year sales and profit targets, taking advantage of the last quarter as consumers worried about inflation bought cheaper groceries.

The number of new jobless claims fell more than expected last week, suggesting that the US labor market is still tight.

Dallas Fed Chairman Laurie Logan and Fed Board of Governors Philip Jefferson said Thursday that the economy does not appear to be slowing fast enough for the central bank to stop the rate hike cycle.

Netflix Inc shares rose 9.22% after reporting that a new, cheaper ad-supported streaming subscription option attracted nearly 5 million monthly active users.

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(Chak Mikołajczak, translated by Tomasz Kanik)


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