US stocks edge higher as investors contemplate Fed rate-cut timing

Feb 6, 2024
  • US stock upside was limited as investors await further Fedspeak this week.
  • This week’s comments from Jerome Powell pressured indices down. More Fed officials are set to speak Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Strong earnings boosted Palantir Technologies and Eli Lilly on Tuesday.

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US stocks rose on Tuesday, with investors still deciphering what to expect from future monetary policy following the lastest comments from the Federal Reserve. 

Stocks fell Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaffirmed that the central bank was not yet ready to cut interest rates. His comments, aired in a weekend interview with “60 Minutes,” also triggered a 13 basis point rise in the 10-year yield, though the retreat steadied on Tuesday.

Monday also saw another strong economic data point in the ISM reading for January, which showed manufacturing new orders rose more than five points and jumped above 50 for the first time since March 2022. The data underscores the idea that the Fed may be in no rush to cut interest rates as the US economy remains on solid footing. 

More Fed officials are set to speak this week, including Fed Presidents Loretta Mester and Patrick Harker. Following their Tuesday comments, Adriana Kugler and Tom Barkin will follow on Wednesday.

Earnings are also still in focus for investors. Palantir Technologies soared over 20% after the opening bell following its big fourth-quarter earnings beat, while earnings strength also pushed Eli Lilly to jump nearly 4%.  

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Tuesday: 

Here’s what else happened today: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 0.8% to $73.36 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 0.72% to $78.64 a barrel. 
  • Gold inched 0.14% up to $2,045.50 per ounce. 
  • The 10-year Treasury yield dropped two basis points to 4.135%.
  • Bitcoin gained 0.45% to $42,838. 

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