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Wall Street stocks climb, dollar drops on rate-cut optimism

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Wall Street stocks climb, dollar drops on rate-cut optimism
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, U.S., July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson   -   Copyright  LUCAS JACKSON(Reuters)
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By Sinéad Carew

NEWYORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher and the dollar fell as hopes rose for an imminent interest-rate cut, while oil futures were little changed as supply worries triggered by a tropical storm were offset by signs of a global surplus for several months.

Treasury yields rose modestly, largely unmoved by stronger-than-expected producer price data as market expectations of a U.S. interest rate cut in July held firm after two days of testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Wall Street’s benchmark, the S&P 500 <.SPX>, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly after hitting records in the previous day’s session.

“We’re coasting along with the wind at our back right now after Powell’s testimony this week which points toward a rate cut in July,” said Michael Antonelli, market strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 142.84 points, or 0.53%, to 27,230.92, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 6.55 points, or 0.22%, to 3,006.46 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 29.14 points, or 0.36%, to 8,225.18.

All three stock indexes were on track for their second weekly advance in a row ahead of the start of the second-quarter corporate earnings season. Analysts are forecasting a decline in S&P 500 earnings per share of 0.4% for the quarter, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

“Most of the gains this year have been from multiple expansion. Earnings needs to start doing its part. Otherwise you risk people looking at multiple expansion saying this looks like a top,” said Antonelli.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rose 0.01% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> gained 0.13%.

U.S. producer prices rose slightly in June as the cost of energy and other goods dropped for a second straight month, beating economists’ expectations that prices would be unchanged.

The Labour Department report comes on the heels of strong consumer price data published on Thursday, suggesting overall inflation could continue to rise moderately despite the gains in consumer prices.

But “one individual dataset will not sway or set” the Fed’s decision on interest rates, said Michael Lorizio, senior fixed income trader at Manulife Investment Management.

In Treasuries, benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 2/32 in price to yield 2.1272%, from 2.12% late on Thursday.

In currencies, continued bets on a U.S. rate cut also sent the dollar lower for the third day in a row. The dollar index <.DXY>, tracking it against six major peers, fell 0.13%, with the euro up 0.04% to $1.1257.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.46% versus the greenback at 108.02 per dollar.

Oil futures were little changed as Gulf of Mexico supply disruptions caused by a tropical storm supported prices, while concerns over a global crude oil surplus in the months ahead limited gains.

U.S. crude rose 0.1% to $60.26 per barrel.

Gold prices inched higher on Friday as investors shrugged off concerns that stronger-than-expected consumer inflation in the United States could influence the U.S. central bank’s decision on aggressive monetary policy easing.

Spot gold added 0.4% to $1,408.61 an ounce.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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