Stocks Mixed Before Next Week’s Fed Rate Report

Gold Silver Reports – U.S. stocks ended mixed Thursday, as industrial and tech gains were offset by losses in the consumer and energy sector. Ten-year Treasury yields steadied after briefly sinking below 2.80 percent as traders look forward to next week’s Federal Reserve policy decision.    

With volume running about 17 percent below average, the S&P 500 Index notched its longest losing streak of 2018 — four days. The Empire Manufacturing Index exceeded projections and initial jobless claims came in just below estimates, signaling continuing strength in the U.S. economy. While an increase in borrowing costs at the Fed meeting is seen as a done deal, it remains an open question whether U.S. policy makers will lift their expectations for the pace of future increases.

“The factory orders number in conjunction with the possibility of another round of tax cuts would bolster the somewhat weakening growth story we’ve seen the past two weeks,” Kevin Caron, a senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, said by phone.

Pipeline stocks plunged after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that master-limited partnerships can no longer recover a key income-tax allowance.

Investors are weighing prospects for more U.S. trade protectionism after new White House appointee Larry Kudlow signaled support for a strong dollar and took a tough line on China. Gold declined after Kudlow said he’d sell the metal and buy the greenback, which gained.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced, with big gains in insurance and financial shares. Norway’s krone rose to the strongest level since early February after its central bank signaled faster interest-rate increases. The yen gained for a third day this week.

Elsewhere, West Texas crude advanced above $61 a barrel as signs of stronger U.S. fuel consumption balanced OPEC’s forecasting for the first time that new supplies from its rivals will exceed demand growth this year.  – Neal Bhai Reports (NBR)

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Neal Bhai has been involved in the Bullion and Metals markets since 1998 – he has experience in many areas of the market from researching to trading and has worked in Delhi, India. Mobile No. - 9899900589 and 9582247600

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