The S&P 500 was little changed after a measure of new home sales in the United States fell more than expected as rising prices constrained demand. Separate figures showed consumer confidence fell for the first time this year, with inflation fears and high unemployment likely holding back improving confidence. Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the price pressures “would prove to be largely transient.”
His remarks echoed those of Chicago Fed Chairman Charles Evans, vice chairman of central bank supervision Randal Quarles and three other Fed officials who this week rejected the idea that any hike of inflation would become sustainable. Still, investors are wondering how long the central bank can maintain stimulating monetary policy if economic data continues to show price pressure.
“The data remains ‘volatile’, and that is to be expected as we face the exit from the pandemic and the uncertainties surrounding it,” said Dennis DeBusschere, head of portfolio strategy at Evercore ISI.
Perhaps U.S. central bank officials could start discussing when to cut back their bond buying program at upcoming policy meetings, Clarida also said on Tuesday.
Some strengths of the company:
- Amazon.com Inc. was sued by the Washington, DC attorney general, who accused it of engaging in anti-competitive practices that raised prices for consumers.
- U.S. airlines gained as the nation’s three largest carriers said the rebound in travel was gaining ground.
- Moderna Inc. rallied because its COVID-19 vaccine was found to be highly effective in adolescents ages 12 to 17 in a large study, paving the way for regulatory submissions around the world in early June.
Here are some events this week:
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy decision Wednesday, Bank of Korea rate decision Thursday.
- CEOs of America’s largest banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, will testify before lawmakers on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees on Wednesday.
- Initial claims for US unemployment, GDP, durable goods, pending home sales on Thursday.
Here are some of the main movements in the markets:
- The S&P 500 was little changed at 1:27 p.m. New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.1%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average has changed little
- MSCI World Index up 0.3%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index changed little
- The euro rose 0.2% to US $ 1.2244
- The British pound was little changed at US $ 1.4151
- The Japanese yen was little changed at 108.82 per dollar
- The yield on 10-year treasury bills fell three basis points to 1.57%
- Germany’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to -0.17%
- Britain’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.79%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to US $ 66 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 0.7% to US $ 1,900 an ounce