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Wall Street slips after rally, markets eye cautious Fed

Published 2024/06/14, 12:08
Updated 2024/06/14, 16:37
© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 12, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Lisa Pauline Mattackal and Johann M Cherian

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes taking a breather after consecutive sessions of record highs, as investors weighed hawkish Federal Reserve projections against the backdrop of a cooling economy.

Limiting losses on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) jumped 14.9%, on track to mark its biggest one-day jump in four years after the company raised its annual revenue forecast on more demand for its artificial intelligence-powered software.

Markets have persisted with expectations of a September start to policy easing - seeing an over 70% chance of a cut at that meeting, as per the CME's FedWatch tool - while traders are pricing in two cuts by year-end.

However, that clashed with the central bank's own forecasts released on Wednesday, where policymakers dialed back their projections for three cuts this year to just one.

"Investors think the Fed's data was already somewhat out of date," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird, referring to softer consumer price inflation data earlier in the week.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said the trend lower is good news for the economy and the central bank.

Hopes of easing Fed policy, combined with megacaps' strength, have seen major indexes rally, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on pace for their seventh week of gains out of eight.

However, this has raised some concerns about the sustainability of equity strength, especially if economic recession risks grow, with the blue-chip Dow on track to end the week lower.

"The market is also just pricing in a probability, even if it's a small one, of a second half recession where the Fed has to cut rates a lot," Mayfield said.

Adding to the gloom, a preliminary University of Michigan survey showed a Consumer Sentiment Index slipped to 65.6 in June, sharply lower than expectations of 72.

At 10:06 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 298.48 points, or 0.77%, at 38,348.62, the S&P 500 was down 22.72 points, or 0.42%, at 5,411.02, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 17.10 points, or 0.10%, at 17,650.46.

Nine of the 11 S&P 500 sectors were in declines, led by a 1.8% slide in industrials, and the economically sensitive small-cap Russell 2000 index lost 1.6%.

Among others, Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) extended Thursday's gains with a 2.2% rise after announcing an upbeat forecast and a 10-for-one stock split.

Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) slipped 1.2% after the Nasdaq said the stock would be removed from the Nasdaq 100 index, and replaced with Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM). Shares of Arm rose 4.9%.

Comments from Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee and Fed Governor Lisa Cook are also expected on Friday.

A BofA Global Research report showed U.S. value stock funds saw $2.6 billion of outflows, while investors poured $1.8 billion into U.S. growth stock funds in the week to Wednesday.

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 12, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.49-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.81-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 110 new lows.

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