May 22, 2024

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The pressure on the wall is increasing

The pressure on the wall is increasing

Last updated 22:30

Wall Street's major indexes remained deep in the red in Tuesday trading, as investors took a defensive stance ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech on Wednesday, which is likely to provide new data on the path of interest rates in the coming months.

Indices closed with slight losses on Monday, although the S&P 500 managed to climb to a new high but failed to hold on to its gains until the end.

Investors are taking a combative stance in preparation for Chairman Powell's speech to Congress tomorrow regarding the economy and the path of monetary policy. The head of the US central bank is expected to repeat the message of recent months that the Fed will not rush to cut interest rates because it wants to ensure that inflation is fully under control and does not flare up.

On Thursday, the European Central Bank's monetary policy meeting will follow, while on Friday the crucial report on new jobs in February will be released.

Indicators – statistics

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the trading session down 523.87 points, or -1.34%, to 38,464.96 points, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 73.24 points, or -1.41%, to 5,058.71 points. The Nasdaq technology index fell 341.48 points, or -2.10%, to 15,866.65 points.

Of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, only six move with a positive sign and 24 with a negative sign. Walmart rose $0.64, or 1.07%, to $59.94, and was the biggest gainer, followed by 3M, up 1.01% to $92.37, and JP Morgan Chase, up 0.46% to $187.54.

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On the contrary, the biggest losers are Intel (-6.31%), Salesforce (-5.74%) and Microsoft (-3.41%).

By the end of the day, US service sector activity slowed in February, according to an Institute for Supply Management (ISM) survey released today.

Specifically, the ISM's non-manufacturing PMI fell to 52.6 last month from 53.4 in January. Measurements above 50 indicate business growth, while measurements below this level indicate contraction. However, the index has remained above 50 for more than a year.

The latest reading came below the average estimate of analysts in a Reuters poll, which had put the index at 53.0 points.

Meanwhile, factory orders fell 3.6% in January in the US, mainly due to a decline in aircraft orders, data released today showed.

The average estimate of analysts in a Reuters poll indicated a decline of 2.9%.

Data from the US Department of Commerce showed that, excluding the transportation sector, orders fell 0.8 percent.

In business developments, Target stock jumped more than 12% as the discount chain's fourth-quarter profits exceeded analysts' estimates.