U.S. stock market live: trading started on a positive note
Many people used to ask “why is the U.S. stock market down today. But the U.S. stock market today started the week mostly on a positive note. Investors remain optimistic ahead of another Fed meeting and the release of reports from the country’s largest companies.
U.S. stock market live
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 31963.73 points.
- Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.1% to 3,964.02 points.
- Only Nasdaq Composite had fallen 0.14% to 11817.76 by that time.
The meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve System will be held on July 26-27. Experts mostly expect the U.S. Central Bank to raise the benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points (bps) to 2.25-2.5%. but the U.S. stock market today also does not rule out the possibility of an immediate 100 bps increase. Investors will be watching closely for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s post-meeting statements.
The ongoing quarterly earnings season is also in the spotlight. This week, 175 companies in the S&P 500 Index are expected to report, including U.S. giants such as Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and amazon.com Inc.
Shares of half of the 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average calculation are trading on the rise. The leaders in growth are Travelers Cos. Inc. (+1.5%), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (+1.4%) and Dow Inc. (+1.3%).
S&P 500 companies’ earnings growth averaged 4.8% after 21% of companies reported, according to FactSet analyst John Butters.
“If 4.8% becomes real growth (in profits) after the season ends, the figure will be at its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2020 (4%),” Butters noted. Nevertheless, “68% of those already reporting above-forecast profits, and 65% reported revenue above experts’ expectations,” the analyst also added.
Centene Corp., a provider of health insurance and services, will sell businesses in Spain and Eastern Europe as part of a review of its portfolio of overseas assets. The company’s stock rose 1.3 percent.
Pharmaceutical company McKesson Corp. is up 2.5% after it decided to raise its quarterly dividend to 54 cents from 47 cents per share.
Gold miner Newmont Corp. ‘s capitalization is down 6.7% after its second-quarter earnings release. Newmont’s net income fell 41% on higher costs.
Brent crude oil futures its lowest since 2021 amid banking crisis
The cost of May futures on Brent crude oil fell to $72.74 per barrel, losing 0.31%, according to data from the ICE exchange. Brent was trading at about $70 a barrel at its low for the day. That’s a record low for at least 15 months, that is, since December 2021.
WTI prices are also falling, with futures prices down to $66.43 a barrel (-0.46% from last week’s close), according to the exchange. WTI was trading at $64.12 a barrel at its low for the day. This is also the lowest value since at least December 2021.
The market is thus responding to the banking crisis: since the beginning of March, three banks (Silvergate Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank) have closed their doors in the US, and the day before, on March 19, Swiss UBS took over its rival, Credit Suisse, buying the bank for $3.2bn amid fears of its collapse. Investors fear a recession, which may cause a crisis in the banking sector, as a recession, in turn, would lead to lower demand for fuel, the agency said.
“Oil prices are moving mainly because of fears [of further oil price dynamics]. Supply and demand fundamentals are almost unchanged, only the banking problems have an impact,” said Price Futures Group analyst Phil Flynn.
Oil prices lifted from daily lows helped the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indices, which rose Monday, writes Reuters. Traders raised their expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would refuse to raise rates this Wednesday to protect financial stability amid banking problems, the agency noted.
“Volatility is likely to persist this week, with broader financial market concerns likely to remain at the forefront,” ING Bank analysts said in a note. They add that the impending Fed decision adds to uncertainty in markets.
Earlier we reported that the price of Brent dropped below $75 per barrel for the first time in more than a year.
Gold prices will reach $2,075 “in the coming weeks”
Gold prices may continue to rise, analysts polled by the CNBC TV channel said. In their opinion, the difficulties of banks and a possible turning point in the policy of the Federal Reserve indicate the possibility of a new rise in gold prices.
“I think it’s likely that we’ll see a strong move in gold in the coming months. The stars seem to be aligned for gold, and it could soon break new highs,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at brokerage Oanda.
The expert explained that interest rates are now at or close to their peak, and the market, amid recent developments in the banking sector, is laying on an earlier than previously expected start of rate cuts. They also added that this situation would boost demand for gold even if the U.S. dollar weakens.
This month, Fitch Solutions rating agency predicted that gold prices would reach $2,075 an ounce “in the coming weeks” amid global financial instability, writes RBC. The company also added that gold prices will remain at a higher than pre-pandemic levels in the coming years. Craig Erlam confirmed this forecast.
Other Wall Street experts are also predicting a long-term rise in gold prices. For instance, Tina Teng, analyst for British financial company CMC Markets, thinks that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s sooner departure from its policy of raising interest rates might provoke another rally in gold prices due to the weakening U.S. dollar and falling bond yields.
Earlier we reported that oil prices accelerated their decline, continuing a trend from the beginning of the week.
Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs revised its forecast on oil prices
Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, one of the most optimistic forecasts about the cost of oil, changed its earlier forecast about the growth of oil prices to $100 in the next 12 months, Bloomberg said.
Now analysts predict that Brent crude oil will reach $94 per barrel in the next 12 months and $97 per barrel in the second half of 2024, the publication said.
The bank said oil prices have fallen despite rising demand in China, given pressure on the banking sector, recession fears and investor withdrawal.
“Historically, after such traumatic events, price adjustments and recoveries are only gradual,” the bank notes.
This week, the situation surrounding Swiss bank Credit Suisse triggered panic in the markets as oil plummeted to a 15-month low and Brent crude fell 12% to below $73 a barrel.
After the price decline, the bank expects OPEC producers to increase production only in the third quarter of 2024, contrary to Goldman’s forecast that it will happen in the second half of 2023. Analysts at the bank believe a barrel of Brent blend will reach $94 in the next 12 months and trade at $97 in the second half of 2024.
Bloomberg reported that the largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, announced higher April oil prices for markets in Asia and Europe.
Earlier, we reported that Iraq and OPEC advocated for guarantees of no fluctuations in oil prices.
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