S&P 500 closes at record high as FOMC minutes show little changes to rate outlook

Jerome Powell reads document while speaking in front of the Senate.
  • The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Wednesday as minutes from the last FOMC meeting signaled minimal changes to the central bank’s narrative on inflation, interest rates, and asset purchases.
  • The minutes showed officials are continuing to make progress towards reaching the threshold to scale back asset purchases.
  • The yield on the US 10-year Treasury fell as low as 1.295%, the lowest point since late February.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Wednesday amid falling Treasury yields as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting showed policymakers are continuing to make progress towards reaching their threshold to scaling back asset purchases.

The minutes showed that several participants are still uncertain about the outlook for growth and inflation, saying it’s “too early to draw firm conclusions about the paths of the labor market and inflation.” Fed officials also discussed tapering asset purchases but there was no consensus on the timeline.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

Read more: How to earn up to 100% interest on your crypto: A TikTok influencer shares 5 platforms he uses to stake bitcoin and 8 altcoins – and the interest each one offers

“We didn’t expect much from today’s FOMC Minutes, and our expectations were met. The majority of the new information delivered by the Fed was already distributed to the markets via the Summary of Economic Projections and the ‘dots’,” said economists from Jefferies.

Jefferies expects more details on the future of policy to emerge from the Fed’s meeting at Jackson Hole later this summer.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury fell as low as 1.295%, the lowest point since late February.

The S&P 500 has hit a record closing high in eight of the past nine trading days.

Amid massive US stimulus and record high stocks, BlackRock strategists have switched to a neutral stance on US stocks while upgrading their views on European and Japanese equities, which they see as growing beneficiaries from the further reopenings of economies shut down by the COVID-19 crisis. The BlackRock Investment Institute outlined, among other items, its six to 12-month tactical views on selected assets in a mid-year report released Wednesday.

Bitcoin traded just under $35,000 on Wednesday after briefly overtaking the level.

Oil prices recovered after falling on Tuesday, despite rising sharply earlier in the day after a meeting between the OPEC+ group of oil-producing countries was abruptly called off.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 3.1%, to $71.07 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 2.6%, to $72.60 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold climbed as much as 0.7%, to $1,810 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dow slides 165 points in turbulent trading investors digest mounting inflation and Fed minutes

Trader NYSE
  • US stocks finished lower in turbulent trading as investors digested the Federal Reserve’s April meeting minutes and continued to warily eye inflation.
  • Some Fed officials signaled they would be open “at some point” to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases.
  • Bitcoin fell as low as $30,000 per coin on the day before staging a rebound, while ethereum dropped to under $2,500 before paring losses.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks closed in the red Wednesday, though pared deep earlier losses, as investors digested minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting and continued to warily eye inflation.

The minutes showed central bank officials were cautiously optimistic about the US recovery. Some officials signaled they would be open “at some point” to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

Read more: Buy these 20 infrastructure stocks set to crush the market as Congress prepares a multi-trillion-dollar deal, Raymond James says

Jefferies’ Aneta Markowska said the signal about the plan to start adjusting purchases came as a surprise.

“It sounds like the Committee inadvertently started talking about, talking about, talking about tapering. Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, the suggestion was only voiced by ‘a number of participants’, and it was conditional on ‘continued rapid progress,'” she said, saying this will not change the timeline for tapering which will be signaled more formally in late August.

She added: “But, it is certainly a change from what we’ve heard so far, and something that Powell did not convey during the press conference. At the very least, it suggests that Kaplan is not the only Fed official getting antsy about the current policy stance,” she added.

Cryptocurrencies whipsawed throughout the day. Bitcoin has fallen to as low as $30,681 and climbed as high as $43,609 within the last 24 hours. The world’s largest cryptocurrency currently is hovering around $38,000. Other cryptocurrencies held on to double-digit percentage losses. Cryptocurrency-linked stocks like Coinbase and Riot Blockchain also fell.

Amid the crypto carnage, some investors remained bullish. Cathie Wood reiterated Ark Invest’s view that bitcoin will climb to $500,000 over the long term in a Bloomberg interview. Meanwhile Microstrategy’s Michael Saylor tweeted: “I’m not selling,” in a reference to bitcoin.

Lumber prices fell for an eighth straight day on Wednesday, deepening a roughly 30% pullback in the commodity.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 5.4%, to $61.95 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, slid 5%, to $65.30 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,890.13 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider