It was quiet day on Wall Street
The Gazette, Colorado Springs
NEW YORK • U.S. stocks drifted in quiet trading Monday, as Wall Street made few big moves overall in advance of the Federal Reserve’s next meeting on interest rates. Stocks have been see-sawing since early August on uncertainty about whether the Fed is finally done with its drastic hikes to interest rates. Higher rates have helped cool inflation from its peak last summer, but they also hurt prices for stocks and other investments while slowing the economy. Traders almost universally expect the Fed to keep rates steady at its meeting this week, which ends Wednesday. More attention will be on the forecasts Fed officials will publish about where they expect interest rates, the economy and the job market to head in upcoming years. One of the first the market will fixate on is how high officials at the Fed see its main interest rate rising this year. Traders are betting on a roughly 40% chance the Fed will raise rates again in either November or December, according to data from CME Group. But just as much attention will be on what Fed officials say about next year, when investors expect the Fed to begin cutting interest rates. Investors crave such cuts, which typically loosen up financial conditions and give boosts to financial markets. The big question is by how much the Fed could cut. Economists at Goldman Sachs expect Fed officials to indicate a full percentage point of cuts next year, after raising rates one more time this year to a range of 5.50% to 5.75%. Fears are strong that rates may have to stay higher for longer in order to get inflation fully down to the Fed’s 2% target. While underlying trends on inflation continue to improve mostly, a recent upswell in oil prices has complicated things. A barrel of U.S. crude rose 71 cents to $91.48 Monday.