US Stocks Continue Gains Thursday on Dovish Fed Outlook

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 27,088.08 on Thursday with a gain of 227.88 points or 0.85%. The S&P 500 closed at 2,999.91 for a gain of 6.84 points or 0.23%. The Nasdaq Composite closed at 8,196.04 for a loss of 6.49 points or -0.08%. The VIX Volatility Index was lower at 12.93 for a loss of 0.10 points or -0.77%.

Thursday’s market movers

The S&P 500 gained 0.23% Thursday and closed at a record high. Stocks continued to gain on dovish Federal Reserve sentiment. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s two-day semi-annual testimony before Congress solidified the market’s expectations for a rate cut as early as July 31 following the Federal Open Market Committee’s next meeting. Futures market probabilities are now reporting a 20.4% chance of a rate cut to 1.75% to 2.00% in July and a 79.6% chance of a rate cut to 2.00% to 2.25%. The current federal funds rate is at 2.25% to 2.50%

Economic reports affecting market trading included the following:

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1% in June and 1.6% year over year. The year-over-year inflation rate decreased from 1.8%. The Core Consumer Price Index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.3% in June and 2.1% year over year. The year-over-year core inflation rate increased from 2%. Jobless claims decreased to 209,000 from 222,000. The Treasury held auctions for four-week bills at a rate of 2.135%, eight-week bills at a rate of 2.130% and 30-year bonds at a rate of 2.644%. The Treasury’s June budget statement showed a deficit of -$8.476 billion for the month and a deficit of -$747.115 billion for the year. Mortgage rates were stable according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75%, unchanged from the previous week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.22%, increasing from

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