Stocks once again struggled to find direction today, and the somewhat confusing March FOMC minutes released this afternoon kept traders on the sidelines, clutching their buy and sell orders. Those Fed minutes indicated that there were some voting members who still think a June Fed Funds hike is still a possibility. The latest data that we have seen would seem to make that unlikely. Of course the weak jobs number that we saw last week came after the March meeting.
As for the markets, stocks gave up an early rally for the second day in a row. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 27 points to finish the day at 17,902. The S&P 500 was up 5 points to close at 2081. Gold was down $8 to trade at $1202 per ounce, while oil, after yesterday’s rally, was down $3.07 to trade at $50.91 per barrel WTI.
Earnings season is kicked off after the close today, and the expectations are very low. Of course, we’ll see if the “bad news” is discounted as the next few weeks unfold. Traders have been focusing on every utterance that comes from Fed officials for the past couple of weeks. Let’s see if we can get focused on corporate earnings for a little while. We’ll see.
Have a nice evening everyone.