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US stocks edge higher ahead of release of Fed meeting minutes

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • US stocks rose slightly on Wednesday before the Federal Reserve released minutes from its June meeting. 
  • Investors “remain on high alert” following a late-stage rebound in the previous session, said Interactive Investor. 
  • Minutes from the Fed’s June meeting that featured a rate hike of 75 basis points were due at 2 p.m. Eastern. 

US stocks edged higher Wednesday as investors prepared to sift through minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting, looking for further insight into the central bank’s campaign to combat high inflation. 

Wall Street’s big three indexes moved up modestly after the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 staged a turnaround late in Tuesday’s session to close higher. Tech stocks on Tuesday found relief from a pullback in bond yields, although yield curve inversion between the 2-year and the 10-year yields flashed a warning signal on recession. The 10-year yield had fallen below the 2-year yield. 

Investors will search for the Fed’s thinking on slowdown risks and the trajectory of inflation when minutes from its June meeting are released at 2 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. Recession worries have dogged equities during 2022, driving the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite down into bear markets. The Fed is poised to raise interest rates at its July meeting after last month’s big hike of 75 basis points. 

“Investors remain on high alert,” following whipsaw moves in the previous trading session, Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said in a note Wednesday. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday: 

  •  S&P 5003,836.38, up 0.13% 
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average30,986.98, up 0.06% (19.16 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite11,323.52, up 0.04% 

[‘The] thought of recession could result in lower interest rates if the monetary tightening is overdone. As such, high growth stocks would benefit from such easier conditions,” Hunter wrote. 

 “In the meantime, however, there remain a host of obstacles for markets to overcome,” he said. “The US dollar is strengthening given its status as a haven currency, and at the expense of other major currencies. This comes amid recessionary fears, and stocks which are reliant on steady economic growth and which have shown defensive qualities of late have also come under some pressure.”

Around the markets, OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo died unexpectedly late Tuesday, according to the CEO of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation. 

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates reportedly posted a 32% return on its flagship fund through the first half of 2022, outperforming the broader stock market. 

“The Big Short” investor Michael Burry predicts higher long-term inflation

Oil prices rose.  West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.9% to trade at $100.43 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 1.7% to $104.51. 

Gold shed 0.2% at $1,760.90 per ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield was down four basis points at 2.76%, continuing its steady decline below 3%. 

Bitcoin declined 1.8% to $20,089.40.

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