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Wall Street rises on rate cut talks, steel merger

Wall Street lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index both gained

Stocks on Wall Street closed the day mostly higher on Monday as traders reacted to news of a large steel acquisition and both caution and optimism from a number of senior US Fed officials about interest rates.

But trading in Europe and Asia was less enthusiastic, with stocks led lower by soaring oil prices on the news that more firms were avoiding the Red Sea amid ongoing attacks against cargo ships.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index both gained.

The market is up, but it is not broadly based, and I think more so due to the M&A that we got this morning, said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Capital Securities.

Meanwhile, comments from three senior US Fed officials pointed to a mix of both optimism and concern, amid a market rally driven largely by bets the US central bank will soon begin cutting interest rates.

The Federal Reserve voted to hold its key lending rate steady at a meeting last week, and pencilled in three interest rate cuts 2024.

In an interview published Monday, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly told the Wall Street Journal that she thought interest-rate policy was in a “good place” to lower inflation to the Fed’s long-term target of two percent.

We are acknowledging progress when progress is there, said Daly, an incoming voter on the Fed’s rate-setting committee.

The markets are a little bit ahead, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester told the Financial Times in another interview published Monday.

They jumped to the end part, which is ‘We are going to normalize quickly’, and I do not see that, said Mester, who will also become a voting member of the Fed’s rate-setting committee from January.

But Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said he was confused by the strong market reaction since the Fed’s decision.

Goolsbee will lose his vote on the Fed’s rate-setting committee at the end of the year, along with the presidents of the Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Dallas Fed banks.

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