June 16th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street holds steady after a bumpy ride last week

By Yuri Kageyama And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on April 8, 2024.

NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are holding steadier on Wall Street after a roller-coaster end to last week left them a bit shy of their records. The S&P 500 was little changed in early trading Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 points, and the Nasdaq composite was flat. Markets have been focused on interest rates and when the Federal Reserve will lower them. A string of reports showing both inflation and the economy have remained hotter than expected has forced Wall Street to delay forecasts for when relief on rates could arrive. Reports on inflation and corporate profits are due later this week.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Wall Street was fairly static Monday ahead of the latest update on U.S. inflation due later this week and the kickoff to earnings season.

Futures for the Dow Jones industrials and futures for the S&P 500 each fell less than 0.1% before the bell.

“As risk sentiments look to bounce from earlier jitters, gains may still be somewhat limited, however, as the lead-up to the key U.S. consumer price index this week could leave some reservations in place,” said Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG.

The U.S. government releases its March report on consumer prices Wednesday, and the following day it will release the latest data on prices at the wholesale level.

Last week, the government reported that U.S. employers added a surprisingly strong 303,000 workers to their payrolls in March, and the strong job market has helped fuel consumer spending and earnings growth for businesses. That can have an impact on prices, inflation, and how the U.S. Federal Reserve acts as far as much anticipated interest rate cuts this year.

The Fed’s benchmark interest rate remains at its highest level in two decades as a result of historic rate hikes meant to tame inflation.

The strong jobs market and consumer spending have raised concerns about the Fed’s ability to get inflation below 3% and closer to its target rate of 2%.

Earlier Monday the nation’s most influential banker, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, told investors that he continues to expect the U.S. economy to grow this year. But he worries geopolitical events including the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war, as well as U.S. political polarization, might be creating an environment that “may very well be creating risks that could eclipse anything since World War II.”

The comments came in an annual shareholder letter from Dimon, who often uses the letter to weigh in on politics, regulation and global events and what they might mean to JPMorgan Chase, as well as the broader economy.

The earnings kicks off this week with Delta Airlines on Wednesday, followed by the big banks, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, all posting their first quarter financial results.

The Biden administration pledged on Monday to provide up to $6.6 billion so that a Taiwanese semiconductor giant can expand the facilities it is already building in Arizona and better ensure that the most advanced microchips are produced domestically for the first time.

The funding for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. means the company can expand on its existing plans for two facilities in Phoenix and add a third, newly announced production hub.

Taiwan Semiconductor shares rose 1.8% before the bell.

Elsewhere, benchmark U.S. crude fell 64 cents to $86.27 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standards, declined 70 cents to $90.47 a barrel.

Adding to the upward pressures have been signs of economic recovery in various regions, which will increase energy consumption. Concerns about the supply and political tensions also tend to push prices higher.

In Europe at midday, France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX each climbed 0.6%. Britain’s FTSE 100 inched up less than 0.2%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9% to finish at 39,347.04. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2% to 7,789.10. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.1% to 2,717.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added less than 0.1% to 16,732.85, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.7% to 3,047.05.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 151.90 Japanese yen from 151.61 yen. The euro cost $1.0826, down from $1.0841.

Bitcoin jumped more than 4% to $72,335.90. The original cryptocurrency is up close to 64% this year.

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