Stock exchanges in New York started trading with modest gains on Friday. Investors on Wall Street are especially keen on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech later today in honour of the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers.
The big question is whether he will clarify when the stimulus measures will be phased out.
The Fed now buys up to $120 billion in bonds every month to allow enough money to flow into the economy. But now that the recovery is in full swing, the call to cut back is getting stronger. On Thursday, three US central bank system leaders spoke out favouring a gradual lifting of the asset purchase program.
However, experts are aware that Powell will not say much concrete about the tightening of monetary policy. He would not want to anticipate the next interest rate decision in September. He would, therefore, mainly stick to the line he followed in July: the targets of the stimulus policy are getting closer, but adjustments are not yet on the agenda.
At the same time, it was revealed that a key indicator of US consumer prices had risen 4.2 percent in July from a year earlier. That is the strongest increase in 30 years, which may support critics of the Fed policy in their view that the influx of cheap money must soon be over.
The Dow-Jones index rose 0.3 percent in the first trading minutes at 35,300 points. The broad S&P also advanced 0.3 percent to 4484 points, and tech gauge Nasdaq posted a similar gain to 14,987 points.
Peloton, which sells fitness equipment for home workouts, fell 8 percent. The company has received subpoenas from law enforcement in the United States to provide information and documents about accidents involving sure of the company’s treadmills. A child was killed in one of those accidents. Tens of thousands of copies have already been recalled.
Meal deliverer DoorDash lost 0.6 percent after industry peer Just Eat Takeaway in Amsterdam had plunged. New York wants to set an upper limit on the commissions that meal deliverers charge to restaurateurs.