The Dow Barely Budged, Bed Bath & Beyond Slumped—and What Else Happened in the Stock Market Today

The Dow Barely Budged, Bed Bath & Beyond Slumped—and What Else Happened in the Stock Market Today

Rising tensions between the U.S. and China. Rising rates from global central banks. A tumbling Turkish lira. Earnings from Cisco Systems CSCO –1.36% , Estee Lauder , and more. It all added up to a whole lot of nothing for the stock market on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2%.

The muted gains came one day after the major indexes fell for the first time in four sessions on Wednesday following the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July 26-27 meeting, at which the central bank boosted the fed-funds rate target by three-quarters of a percentage point for the second straight month. The minutes didn’t reveal anything the market didn’t already know—Fed officials agreed they need to keep raising interest rates to cool inflation, but indicated the pace of those hikes could slow if economic data supported such a move. The main takeaway appeared to be that Jerome Powell & Co. remained concerned that inflation could become entrenched and that rates will have to be moved beyond neutral and into “restrictive” territory.

That was the message delivered by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Thursday, when he said that he favored a three-quarters point hike at the Fed’s September meeting. Investors will get to hear from Fed Chair Powell when he speaks at the Jackson Hole Symposium, and unlike the minutes from the July meeting, the message could be hawkish. “The Fed has been clear that priority [#1] is taming inflation and the dramatic easing in financial conditions over the past month is incompatible with that goal,” writes 22V Research’s Dennis DeBusschere. “But even if inflation expectations remain stable, the recent easing of financial conditions increases the risk of a Powell sounding hawkish at Jackson Hole.”

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Last modified on Wednesday, 24 August 2022 02:12

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