U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Higher As Fed Decision Looms

Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, with the major averages all moving to the upside after ending last Friday’s trading narrowly mixed. With the upward move, the Dow has once again reached its best intraday level in over a year.

Currently, the major averages are all in positive territory, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up just 19.33 points or 0.1 percent at 14,052.14. The Dow is up 170.45 points or 0.5 percent at 35,398.14 and the S&P 500 is up 17.32 points or 0.4 percent at 4,553.66.

The markets continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which has contributed to a ten-day winning streak for the Dow.

The recent strength lifted all three major averages to their best levels in over a year last week, although the Nasdaq and S&P 500 have pulled back off their highs.

Overall trading activity has remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates by another 25 basis point, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for rates.

Recent encouraging inflation data has led to optimism this week’s rate hike will be the last, and traders will be looking for confirmation from the Fed.

A lack of major U.S. economic data may also be keeping some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of several key reports in the coming days.

Sector News

Steel stocks have shown a significant move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Steel Index up by 2.0 percent to its best intraday level in over four months.

Considerable strength is also visible among energy stocks, which are moving notably higher along with the price of crude oil.

With crude for September delivery jumping $1.29 to $78.36 a barrel, the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.6 percent and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 1.2 percent.

Banking and telecom stocks are also seeing notable strength on the day, while airline stocks have moved sharply lower.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved modestly lower on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are both down by 0.1 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back near the unchanged line after seeing early strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 3.829 percent.

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