U.S. stocks had a mixed day on Tuesday, leaving investors pondering the possibility of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve shortly. The market had seen a boost on Monday, but the Federal Reserve remained a central theme in the investors’ minds. According to the CME FedWatch tool, there is a 59% chance that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates at its March policy meeting, down from nearly 70% just a week ago. However, experts caution against assuming a rate cut in March as a certainty.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 157.85 points or 0.4%.
- The S&P 500 shed 7.04 points or 0.2%.
- The Nasdaq Composite gained 13.94 points or 0.1%.
One contributing factor to the market’s uncertainty is tax-motivated profit-taking as the new year begins. Additionally, there’s been some skepticism regarding Wall Street’s previous optimism about the speed and extent of interest rate cuts for this year. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman has indicated that while inflation could ease without further rate hikes, the economy may not be at a point where rate cuts are necessary.
Investors are eagerly awaiting a key update on inflation, scheduled for release on Thursday when the consumer-price index for December will be revealed. Furthermore, earnings season is set to kick off on Friday with quarterly results from major banks. Despite anticipating significant data later in the week, Tuesday saw the trade deficit narrow by 2% to $63.2 billion in November, potentially setting the stage for the smallest deficit in three years……….[read more]
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