NEW YORK – Stocks in the US fluctuated on Tuesday as investors deliberated over the potential for interest rate cuts and eagerly awaited a wave of quarterly results. The S&P 500 was trading flat by midday, indicating a lack of firm direction in the market. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dipped about 0.4%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed a modest increase of approximately 0.2%.
Investors were disappointed by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s cautious approach to potential rate cuts, leading to a halt in the stock market’s rally on Monday. As the earnings season progresses, market watchers hoped that corporate results might reignite growth in stock prices.
Early trading saw a surge in Spotify shares following the music streamer’s strong guidance, while Eli Lilly’s stock also experienced an uptick after the company’s 2024 profit forecast exceeded expectations. Later in the day, Ford was expected to release its quarterly report after the market closed.
In the midst of these market movements, Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester expressed her belief that moving rates down too soon, without sufficient evidence of sustainable inflation, would undermine the progress made in achieving the Fed’s inflation target. However, she also indicated that the Fed may gain confidence in the economy’s improvement later in the year, potentially leading to a decision to lower rates.
The market also awaited comments from Fed officials Patrick Harker, Susan Collins, and Neel Kashkari later in the day, as their insights could provide further clarity on the potential for future rate cuts.
Throughout the day, the stock market remained in a state of flux, reflecting the uncertainty and anticipation surrounding the evolution of interest rates and their impact on corporate performance. As investors digest a myriad of information and data, the market continues to react dynamically to the latest developments.