US stocks mostly up; tech sector gains ahead of Powell’s testimony

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US stocks mostly up; tech sector gains ahead of Powell’s testimony

Investing.com– U.S. stocks were slightly higher on Tuesday as rising expectations for a September interest rate cut kept the technology sector on a roll ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

As of 09:35 ET (13:35 GMT), the index was down 40 points, or 0.1%, up 10 points, or 0.2% and up 75 points, or 0.4%.

Powell’s testimony in the spotlight

is scheduled to begin two days of testimony before Congress starting slow Tuesday evening, with the Senate testifying before the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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The US Federal Reserve chairman is expected to provide more guidance on monetary policy, with markets looking for any dovish signals, especially given weaker inflation and jobs data in recent weeks.

In addition to Powell’s testimony, other Federal Reserve officials, including members of the Open Market Committee and .

Investors will also be looking at key inflation data for June, due on Thursday, for more clues on the path of inflation. The Fed has repeatedly signaled that it needs more certainty that inflation is easing before it can start cutting interest rates.

The data showed investors were pricing in a greater than 70% probability of a 25 basis point rate cut in September, up from 59% last week.

Certainty of an imminent interest rate cut sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes to record highs on Monday.

Earnings season begins at banks

This week, attention will also be focused on the second-quarter earnings season, which is set to begin later this week with the release of results from several major banks.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:) Wells Fargo (NYSE:) and Citigroup (NYSE:) is scheduled to release its quarterly results on Friday.

Also on the list this week are PepsiCo (NASDAQ:) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:)

Analysts are forecasting that on average S&P 500 companies’ earnings per share will rise 10.1% in the second quarter, compared with an 8.2% augment in the first quarter, according to data from LSEG I/B/E/S.

Additionally, shares of companies like Intel (NASDAQ:) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:) continued to rally, with their value rising by more than 2% amid growing confidence in all things AI.

Oil prices fall after Beryl passes

Oil prices fell slightly on Tuesday after Hurricane Beryl caused less damage than expected in a key U.S. oil-producing region, easing concerns about supply disruptions.

At 9:35 a.m. ET, U.S. WTI crude oil was down 0.2% to $82.14 a barrel, while Brent crude futures were down 0.2% to $85.56 a barrel.

Market participants are also closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East, where hopes for a possible ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip that could ease concerns about disruptions to global oil supplies weighed on oil prices on Monday.

Later in the session, estimates of weekly crude oil inventories will be released, but they are expected to decline due to the summer automotive season.

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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