Wall Street drifts higher, ASX set to slip



But the data have been tough to parse, with Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs report quickly on the heels of weaker-than-expected reports on US manufacturing and other areas of the economy. Even within US consumer spending, the heart of the economy, is a sharp divide between lower-income households struggling to keep up with still-high inflation and higher-income households doing much better.

“Bottom line, the data remains mixed, leaving all of the major macro outcomes still on the table for this year,” according to Morgan Stanley strategists led by Michael Wilson.

In the meantime, companies benefiting from the AI boom are continuing to report big growth almost regardless of what the economy and interest rates are doing.

Nvidia, for example, is worth roughly $US3 trillion and rose 0.7 per cent Monday after reversing an early-morning loss. It was the first day of trading for the company since a 10-for-one stock split made its share price more affordable to investors, after it ballooned to more than $US1,000 amid the AI frenzy.

Treasury yields were mixed in the bond market ahead of reports later in the week that will show whether inflation improved last month at both the consumer and wholesale levels.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will announce its latest decision on interest rates. Virtually no one expects it to move its main interest rate then. But policy makers will be publishing their latest forecasts for where they see interest rates and the economy heading in the future.

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The last time Fed officials released such projections, in March, they indicated the typical member foresaw roughly three cuts to interest rates in 2024. That projection will almost certainly fall this time around. Traders on Wall Street are largely betting on just one or two cuts to rates in 2024, according to data from CME Group.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.46 per cent from 4.43 per cent late Friday. The two-year yield, which more closely tracks expectations for the Fed, slipped to 4.88 per cent from 4.89 per cent.

In stock markets abroad, France’s CAC 40 index sank 1.3 per cent after French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly following surprising results in elections for the European Parliament. Far-right parties made gains, and the value of the euro dropped. Other indexes also fell in Europe, though not by as much as France’s.



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