US stocks mostly higher in June

Business | 10 Jul 2019 11:40 am

Despite lingering worries over trade, investors have pushed US stocks mostly higher since early June after the Fed raised expectations for a rate cut.

The benchmark S&P 500 hit all-time highs three straight days last week. Even with the sluggish start to the week, the S&P 500 is just 0.5 percent below its record high set Wednesday.

The question is whether the Fed will still see a good argument for cutting interest rates after the strong June jobs data.

The Fed’s benchmark interest rate currently stands in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent and the central bank has not cut rates since the Great Recession in 2008. Last year, Fed officials raised rates four times, in part to stave off the risk of high inflation and in part to try to ensure that they would have room to cut rates if the economy stumbled.

On Friday, the Fed emphasized that it would act as necessary to sustain the economic expansion, while noting that most Fed officials have lowered their expectations for the course of rates.

While investors are focused on the Fed this week, traders may also be holding back ahead of next week, when the bulk of S&P 500 companies begin reporting their second quarter results.

Expectations are generally low, and this could be the first time in three years that S&P 500 companies report a back-to-back decline in overall earnings, according to FactSet.-AP


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