Stock market today: Wall Street ticks lower ahead of Fed meeting, new inflation data

Jun 9, 2024, 10:11 PM

Wall Street ticked lower early Monday ahead of the latest Federal Reserve policy decision and a slew of new inflation data.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell less than 0.1%, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 0.1% before the bell.

The Fed’s latest interest rate policy decision comes after the U.S. central bank wraps up its two-day meeting on Wednesday. Most expect the Fed to leave its benchmark rate alone again, with inflation remaining sticky despite the high interest rates meant to tame it.

A strong labor market has helped to sustain consumer spending and the broader economy, but it has also been complicating the Federal Reserve’s decision on potentially lowering interest rates.

“We are back to the starting point where the Fed could hardly justify a rate cut when jobs data remains strong and inflation is not easing as fast as it should,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, said.

Economic data last week hinted at an economy that is cooling. Manufacturing contracted in May, worker productivity isn’t as strong as economists thought, and job openings are dropping.

After a stronger-than-expected jobs report on Friday, investors took even more bets off the table that the Fed would cut rates at its July meeting, according to data from CME Group.

The government will release the latest data on consumer and producer prices on Wednesday and Thursday.

All eyes are on Apple Monday when the iPhone maker is expected to announce its much-anticipated and late arrival to the artificial intelligence space.

At its developers conference, Apple is expected to show how it’s using AI to improve its oft-bumbling virtual assistant, Siri. The company also been rumored to be in partnership with OpenAI to bring some elements of ChatGPT to the iPhone, according to unconfirmed reports.

The widely anticipated display of AI to be embedded in the iPhone and other Apple products will be the marquee moment at an event that traditionally previews the next version of software that powers the company’s hardware lineup.

Shares of Southwest Airlines jumped nearly 8% before the bell Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported that activist investor Elliott Investment Management had amassed a $2 billion stake in the airline and planned to push for changes. Southwest lost $231 million in the first quarter of the year and has seen its stock languish below $30 a share since mid-March.

In Europe, the euro fell after French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the National Assembly following a setback in Sunday’s parliamentary election.

Far-right parties made major gains in parliamentary elections Sunday, leading French President Emmanuel Macron to call a snap election. This caused the euro to drop to its lowest price in nearly a month. The euro was trading at $1.0747, down from $1.0778.

The setbacks for incumbent parties cast a shadow across the region. The CAC 40 in Paris sank 1.6% and Germany’s DAX lost 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 0.3%.

Markets in Asia ended mixed. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9% to 39,038.16 after government data on Monday showed Japan’s economy contracted at an annualized 1.8% pace in January-March, an upward revision from the previously announced 2% drop.

South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.8% to 2,701.17.

Markets in China, Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan were closed for holidays.

In other dealings, U.S. benchmark crude oil gained 25 cents to $75.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 29 cents to $79.91 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar rose to 156.94 Japanese yen from 156.83 yen.

On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.2%. The Dow slipped 0.2%.

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Stock market today: Wall Street ticks lower ahead of Fed meeting, new inflation data