U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds were flat mid-Wednesday as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by 0.25%.
On Wednesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 0.1%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was 0.1% higher and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) rose 0.1%.
Investors were anticipating the quarter-point interest rate cut, but many will mainly watch for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s explanation on why the move was necessary and what comes next, Reuters reports.
Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, argued that investors are looking for clarity on whether the Fed’s is an insurance cut or a shift in monetary policy. Wording on further rate cuts could threaten the recent stock rally.
“There’s a risk that they will be insufficiently dovish for the market,” Eddie Perkin, chief equity investment officer at Eaton Vance Management, told the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. markets have been strengthening this year as the Fed shifted from interest rate hikes last year to modest rate cuts that would help bolster growth and stimulate low inflation in light of the negative effects of a prolonged trade spate with China.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and China were concluding trade talks that both sides described as “constructive”, which included further Chinese purchases of American farm goods and an agreement to reconvene in September. However, observers warned that any trade deal will still be a long ways out.
“There are issues that make a comprehensive and durable deal quite difficult to achieve,” Arnab Das, global market strategist at Invesco, told the WSJ, adding that there will not likely be any complete breakdown or a Brexit-type risk of no deal.
For more information on the markets, visit our current affairs category.