US stocks extend gains

24 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: U.S. stocks wrapped up the week on a cheerful note, as Wall Street was buoyed by the U.S. Federal Reserve's loosening stance on monetary policy, which fueled market bets on further rate cuts later this year.

Investors also digested a batch of mixed data, which added to broad worries over the pace of U.S. economic growth.

In the week ending June 21, the Dow rose 2.4 percent, the S&P 500 was up 2.18 percent, and the Nasdaq gained 2.99 percent, reports Xinhua.

This week marked upbeat trading sessions for the market with a high start and a slightly low ending, the only negative trading day of the week. On Friday, the three major indexes ended with minor losses, yet capping off a strong week with marked gains, as investors' bets on potential rate cuts by the Fed continued to underpin the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 34.04 points, or 0.13 percent, to 26,719.13. The S&P 500 was down 3.72 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,950.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 19.63 points, or 0.24 percent, to 8,031.71. Throughout the week, market participants closely observed and studied a two-day crucial policy meeting of the Fed, which markedly eased pressure on equities.

The Fed decided to hold federal funds rate steady at 2.25 to 2.5 percent, yet hinted at possible rate cuts over the remainder of the year, saying on Wednesday it "will act as appropriate to sustain expansion".

Noting that uncertainties about the economic outlook "have increased," the central bank dropped the "patient" language shown in its previous statements.

"In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion," said the Fed in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"The Fed left rates on hold but sent a clear message - the next move is a cut. The only question now is the timing," said Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) in a research report on Wednesday. During a press conference after the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed saw headline inflation falling further to 1.5 percent this year.