Major US stock indexes ended the trading session in different directions, as investors analyzed the Fed chairman’s speech, recent inflation indicators, as well as conflicting reports on US-Chinese trade negotiations.
In a speech to the United Economic Committee of the US Congress, Fed Chairman Powell said Fed rates are unlikely to change as long as the economy continues to grow. “We believe that the current position of monetary policy is likely to remain appropriate as long as the incoming economic information is broadly consistent with our forecasts of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market and inflation close to our symmetric 2 percent target” - said Powell. However, he warned that problems remain, such as low inflation, weaker foreign economic growth and trade tensions.
A report released by the Department of Labor showed that US consumer prices recovered more than expected in October, and core inflation rose, which, along with easing trade tensions and fears of a recession, supports the Fed's signal that it will not continue to cut interest rates in the near future. According to the report, the consumer price index rose 0.4% in October. This was the largest increase since March. In the 12 months to October, the index rose 1.8% after rising 1.7% in September. Economists had forecast growth of 0.3% in October and growth of 1.7% year on year.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported citing informed sources that the United States and China have sharp disagreements about tariffs, which prevents them from completing the first phase of the deal. According to the publication, negotiations have reached an impasse due to the unresolved issue of whether the US should cancel existing tariffs or only those that should take effect on December 15th. The message came after US President Trump told the New York Economic Club on Tuesday that China “deadly wants to” bargain. Meanwhile, Trump did not provide any details about the negotiations. The US president also blamed previous US administrations for allowing China to “trick” trade.
Most DOW components completed trading in the red (16 out of 30). Outsiders were shares of Dow Inc. (DOW; -2.77%). The biggest gainers were The Walt Disney Company (DIS; + 7.30%).
Most S&P sectors recorded a decline. The conglomerate sector showed the largest drop (-0.6%). The utilities sector grew the most (+ 1.0%).
At the time of closing:
Dow 27,783.59 +92.10 +0.33%
S&P 500 3,094.04 +2.20 + 0.07%
Nasdaq 100 8,482.10 -3.99 -0.05%
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