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US close: Stocks close higher as rate cuts remain in focus

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Monday 22 Jul 2019

US close: Stocks close higher as rate cuts remain in focus

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday, with attention remaining focused on the Federal Reserve as hopes of a 50 basis point cut to interest rates began to fade.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead at 0.07% at 27,172.51, while the S&P 500 was up 0.28% at 2,985.07 and the Nasdaq Composite ended out the session 0.71% stronger at 8,204.14.

The Dow closed 18.31 points firmer after a Wall Street Journal report on Friday suggested that a more cautious 25 basis point cut was likely following comments from multiple officials from the central bank.

Donald Trump, a long-time critic of the Fed, called on the central bank to make "deeper" cuts at its next meeting.

"It is far more costly for the Federal Reserve to cut deeper if the economy actually does, in the future, turn down! Very inexpensive, in fact productive, to move now," tweeted Trump.

"The Fed raised and tightened far too much & too fast. In other words, they missed it (big!). Don't miss it again!"

On the corporate from, earnings were in focus again, with around 25% of the S&P 500 reporting before the end of the week, including the likes of Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Caterpillar.

Halliburton shares closed 9.15% higher despite seeing profits plunge 85% on impairment and severance charges, while Equifax inched ahead 0.39% after coming to a $700m settlement stemming from a 2017 data breach with federal regulators.

Elsewhere, Boeing shares flew 1.04% lower after analysts at Fitch downgraded its stance on the firm to 'negative'.

In terms of data, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index ticked up last month but couldn't free itself from a negative reading.

For June, the index was -0.02, up from -0.03 the month before.

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