Tue, 06 Jun 2023

U.S. stocks close mixed amid debt ceiling impasse

23 May 2023, 09:18 GMT+10

NEW YORK, May 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended mixed on Monday as investors waited for the pivotal debt ceiling negotiations between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140.05 points, or 0.42 percent, to 33,286.58. The S&P 500 added 0.65 points, or 0.02 percent, to 4,192.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 62.88 points, or 0.50 percent, to 12,720.78.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with communication services and real estate leading the gainers by rising 1.17 percent and 0.67 percent respectively. Meanwhile, consumer staples and materials led the laggards by losing 1.47 percent and 0.55 percent respectively, and industrials sector closed flat.

President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are scheduled to meet late Monday to continue debt ceiling talks, with just 10 days left before the earliest date that the Treasury Department warned the United States could default.

Ahead of the planned meeting, McCarthy told reporters that the two sides must strike a deal this week to avoid a catastrophic U.S. default that could happen as early as June 1, with government spending cuts remaining a major obstacle between the two sides.

Investors are also digesting a flurry of new statements about monetary tightening cycle from central bankers on Monday.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said in a CNBC interview that "I think right now it's a close call, either way, versus raising (interest rate) another time in June or skipping. What's important to me is not signaling that we're done."

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said on Monday that he expects the central bank will need to raise interest rates twice more to deal with high inflation this year.

Meanwhile, investors and analysts expect new Federal Reserve minutes due Wednesday could provide further insight on how Fed officials are thinking about the possibility of further rate increases. They are also paying attention to some upcoming economic indicators this week, with the revised gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter due Thursday, and April personal consumption expenditures price index due Friday.

The Fed minutes on Wednesday will be of interest in order to gauge where different officials stand on this subject and whether there's already a consensus forming for pausing at the next meeting in June, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, a supplier of online multi-asset trading services.

"That said, the inflation data on Friday is what counts most, even coming a couple of weeks after the consumer price index (CPI). Only when the core is falling can the Fed pivot; until then a meeting-by-meeting pause is all we'll get," said Erlam.

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