U.S. stocks open higher as Fed rate cuts expected


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U.S. stocks rose in early trading Monday, as investors increased bets for a September interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve following a weaker-than-expected April jobs report.

Nonfarm payrolls data came in weaker than expected

Friday’s weaker-than-expected nonfarm payrolls data could prompt the Federal Reserve to prepare for a rate cut later this year.

Although the labor market is showing signs of cooling, inflation remains above the Fed’s 2% annual target.

Earlier this month, the Fed reported a lack of progress in its fight against price pressures, which has been the key focus of a tightening cycle that has driven rates to more than two-decade highs. However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that borrowing costs continue to fall and said it is unlikely that the Fed’s next move will be to raise rates again.

Markets will focus this week on statements from several Fed officials that could provide further signals about interest rates.

Equities were buoyed by the jobs numbers at the end of last week, with Wall Street’s major indexes ending in the green on Friday. Some results also helped to build confidence, most notably Apple (AAPL), which reported a smaller-than-expected decline in revenue and profit.

The season of quarterly pulibations continues for large companies on Wall Street

Although Wall Street started May with strong numbers, it is still recovering from losses recorded in April, which were attributed to concerns about sustained higher interest rates. Even with the payrolls data, investors are looking for further indications of where the U.S. economy is headed.

The quarterly earnings season will proceed this week, featuring large-cap companies such as ride-sharing group Uber Technologies (UBER) and Walt Disney Entertainment Group (DIS).

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