Financial Times

Wall Street stocks rose at the start of a week that will see more large tech companies reporting earnings and the US Federal Reserve announcing its next policy decision. Wall Street’s tech-focused Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 per cent, recouping losses from the previous session, while the benchmark S&P 500 gained 0.2 per cent at the opening bell. Monday’s moves came against a backdrop of a significant majority of investorsexpecting the Fed on Wednesday to increase interest rates by 0.25 percentage points from the current target range between 5 per cent and 5.25 per cent.Investors and economists are, however, divided over whether the rise will mark the end of the US central bank’s 16-month monetary policy tightening campaign afterinflation data earlier in the month showed that consumer prices rose at the slowest pace since 2021.“On the one hand, the US economy continues to perform remarkably well, while on the other, the excellent news on inflation means that the Fed can take its foot off the gas and wait a few months for further developments,” said Matthew Ryan, head of market strategy at financial services firm Ebury. Microsoft and Alphabet are set to report earnings on Tuesday, followed by Meta onWednesday, offering further insight into the high-flying US tech sector. Tech stocks stumbled last week after underwhelming results from Tesla and Netflix stretched investors’ nerves over the industry that drove much of this year’s rally on Wall Street. “The real test will be for companies that have significant exposure to artificial intelligence as investors are eager to see if these companies can report strong enough results to support their significantly elevated share prices in recent months,” said James Demmert, chief investment officer at Main Street Research. Across the Atlantic, the euro fell 0.3 per cent against the dollar to $1.109 after the eurozone’s flash composite purchasing managers’ index, a measure of manufacturing and services activity, dropped to an eight-month low of 48.9 in July, from June’s 49.9.The reading marked the second successive month of the index coming in below the 50mark, which indicates the majority of businesses reported a contraction in activity, as high borrowing costs weighed on the economy.

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