The blue-chip Dow, held back by industrial stocks, squeaked into positive territory at the closing bell.
“The Fed notes were kind of a nothing, exactly what the market was expecting” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. “It’s how the Fed likes to operate. They wanted to reaffirm existing expectations, which they did.”
Core US consumer prices, which strip out volatile food and energy segments, rose at the slowest annual pace in over a year, according to the Labor Department’s CPI report. The tepid inflation data further supported the Fed’s decision to suspend its three-year, interest-rate-hike campaign.
“The core number shows no inflation and the headline reflects higher gasoline prices, which is a headwind for growth, a tax on consumers,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
Top executives from some of the largest US banks testified before Congress for the first time since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, just days before the banks report quarterly results amid lowered expectations by analysts.
Profit forecasts for the first quarter have dropped steadily in the last six months, with S&P 500 earnings now seen falling by 2.5 per cent, which would mark the first year-on-year contraction since 2016, according to Refinitiv data.
The earnings season began in earnest as Delta Air Lines raised its revenue forecast and posted better-than-expected profits, lifting the airliner’s stock by 1.6 per cent.
Levi Strauss & Co posted a 7 per cent rise in revenue in its first earnings report since returning to the public market . Its shares rose 4.0 per cent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.58 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 26,157.16, the S&P 500 gained 10.01 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 2,888.21, and the Nasdaq Composite added 54.97 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 7,964.24.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, eight ended the session in positive territory.
Boeing Co weighed on industrials as the plane maker’s shares extended losses, closing down 1.1 per cent.
Tesla Inc got a boost after US lawmakers introduced legislation that would expand the electric vehicle tax credit. The company’s stock advanced 1.4 per cent.
ConAgra Brands shot up 6.7 per cent after providing upbeat forecasts at its investor day.
First Solar Inc jumped 8.3 per cent after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its conviction list.
Houseware retailer Bed Bath & Beyond shot up more than 8 per cent in after-market trading after posting quarterly results.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.85-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.26-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 73 new highs and 36 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 6.15 billion shares, compared to the 7.20 billion average over the last 20 trading days. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online