Stocks, US yields gain as data, Fed comments eyed

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 06/16/24 08:43 PM EDT

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) -A gauge of global stocks rose for the first time in three sessions on Monday, powered by a rally in U.S. equities, while U.S. Treasury yields climbed after a sharp drop in the prior week as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve officials.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks slowly gained steam after a sluggish start to the session to send the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 to record highs, led by gains in technology and consumer discretionary shares.

Economic data showed manufacturing activity in the New York region improved in June, but remained in contraction territory with a reading of negative 6. Investors will closely eye retail sales data for May on Tuesday for signs of consumer health.

"There really isn't an appetite to be a real seller right now because there is a perception that momentum is going to continue, and stocks are going to continue winning," said Daniela Hathorn, senior market analyst at Capital.com.

"The fact that the rally has been driven mostly by a select few stocks, that would mean that the pullback could be even deeper."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 188.94 points, or 0.49%, to 38,778.10, the S&P 500 gained 41.63 points, or 0.77%, to 5,473.23 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 168.14 points, or 0.95%, to 17,857.02.

Goldman Sachs raised its year-end S&P 500 price target to 5,600 from the prior 5,200, while Evercore ISI lifted its price target to 6,000 from 4,750.

U.S. equities had pushed to record levels last week following several inflation readings that indicated price pressures may be ebbing, even as the Federal Reserve adjusted its economic projections to only include one rate cut for the year.

In Europe, stocks edged higher, with banks and technology stocks rebounding from losses last week after markets were startled by political uncertainty in France. The STOXX 600 index closed up 0.09%, while Europe's broad FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 2.52 points, or 0.12%

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe rose 3.53 points, or 0.44%, to 800.79, bouncing from earlier lows and following two straight sessions of declines.

FED OFFICIALS

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the 10-year note coming off its biggest weekly drop of the year in response to inflation data that boosted hopes the Fed would be able to cut rates by at least 25 basis points in September.

Markets are currently pricing in a 61.5% chance for a 25 basis point cut in September, according to CME's FedWatch Tool, down from about 70% in the prior session.

The yield on benchmark U.S. 10-year notes rose 6.8 basis points to 4.281%.

"The Empire State helped a little bit, but it's more than that," said Stan Shipley, managing director and fixed income strategist at Evercore ISI in New York. "Yields came down a lot last week and so some people are taking profits here."

Investors will hear from a host of Fed officials this week, including Governor Lisa Cook later on Monday.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Monday the central bank would be able to cut rates one time this year should his forecast play out.

Central banks in Australia, Norway and Britain are all expected to leave their interest rates unchanged at meetings this week, though the Swiss National Bank could ease given the recent strength of the Swiss franc.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies including the yen and the euro, fell 0.19% at 105.34, with the euro up 0.29% at $1.0731.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar strengthened 0.22% at 157.71, while sterling strengthened 0.14% at $1.27.

U.S. crude settled up 2.4% to $80.33 a barrel and Brent rose to end at $84.25 per barrel, up 2% on the day, building on the prior week's gains as investors turned more optimistic on demand growth in the months ahead.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Addiitonal reporting by Lisa Mattackal and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfussin New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Marguerita Choy)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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