US Stocks Flat as Fed Rate-Hike Fear and Oil Slump Weigh Sentiment
Major US benchmark indices were trading with a slight positive bias
during the early NY trading session as investors seems to digest
comments from the Fed officials who continued to point towards a
possible Fed rate-hike decision in June. Moreover, tumbling oil prices
also seems to weigh on investor sentiment.
At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading higher by 38 point to 17,538 while the broader S&P 500 index was up marginally at 2,055 or 3 points. Meanwhile, tech heavy Nasdaq composite was outperforming other major indices with an up-tick of nearly 0.4%, or 18 point, at 4,787.
Spotlight on Fed officials comments
With the June Fed meeting gaining significant importance after last week's Fed minutes, investors will remains focused on this week's comments from various Fed official and economic data points that might assist them to gauge the possibilities of an interest rate hike at the central bank's upcoming meeting in June. The biggest influence for this week's stock market action would be comments from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who is slated to speak on Friday.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard kicked off this week's series of Federal Reserve speakers and was followed by San Francisco Fed President John Williams speech. Later during the day, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is scheduled to speak on the economic outlook.
In other markets, European stocks remained choppy on mixed Euro-zone PMI prints, while Asia traded mostly lower with Nikkei dropping 0.4%, while the HangSang index dipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite index ended the day with a gain of 0.6%.