Markets Take Heart from Prospect of Rate Cut

Stocks traded higher on Wednesday, building on the strong gains from the previous session, as Wall Street increased bets that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates soon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 133.32 points to pause in the session for lunch at 25,465.50

The S&P 500 increased 12.42 points to 2,815.69

The NASDAQ Composite added 26.02 points to 7,553.13.

Tech shares jumped 1% while the utilities and real estate sectors got a boost from lower rates. Apple led the gains in tech, rising 1.6% after CEO Tim Cook said the company had not been targeted by China amid rising U.S.-China trade fears. Salesforce also contributed to tech’s gains, rising 3% on stronger than expected earnings.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday the central bank will keep an eye on current developments in the economy, and would do what it must to "sustain the expansion." Powell did, however, note that the central bank could not determine when or how global trade issues would be settled.

Private payrolls increased by just 27,000 in May, according to data from ADP and Moody’s Analytics released Wednesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 173,000 jobs. May’s print was the worst since March 2010.

Trade tensions were slightly assuaged, however, as several Republican lawmakers have noted their opposition to new tariffs on Mexican imports while some have hinted at the possibility of blocking such levies.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to meet with People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang this weekend. This would be the first in-person meeting between key trade negotiators from the U.S. and China.

Prices for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury gained slightly, lowering yields to 2.12% from Tuesday’s 2.14%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices plummeted $2.55 to $50.93 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices acquired $3.80 at $1,332.50 U.S. an ounce.

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