US stocks fall as oil prices jump and traders await Fed meeting

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Stocks traded mixed Monday, with oil prices surging to their highest mark since November.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, hovered near $95 a barrel on Monday.
Investors expect the central bank to hold interest rates steady this week.  

US stocks were mostly lower on Monday as oil prices surged to their highest mark since November as as investors prepared for the Federal Reserve’s looming policy decision. 

Brent crude, the international benchmark, hovered just below $95 a barrel on Monday, while West Texas Intermediate crude was near $92 a barrel.

Investors are watching for the US central bank’s next policy decision due this Wednesday, with most expecting no hike at the latest meeting, though markets think odds are growing for another rate hike at the November meeting as inflation proves stubborn. 

According to CME’s FedWatch Tool traders are giving about 31% odds to a 25 basis point hike at the November meeting.

The consumer price index rose by 3.7% annually in August, higher than economists had expected and higher than July’s figure of 3.6%.  

“In our view, with inflation still well above the Fed’s 2% target, another rate increase is certainly more likely to occur before any rate cuts, despite the fondest wishes of the markets,” said Saira Malik, the chief investment officer of Nuveen. “That said, our base case calls for a pause in the current hiking cycle by the end of 2023, after which we expect rates to remain elevated but stable in 2024.”

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Monday: 

S&P 500: 4,444.25, down 0.13% Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,636.92, up 0.03% (+9.90 points)Nasdaq Composite: 13,691.32, down 0.15% 

Here’s what else is going on: 

Western companies have $18 billion in Russia profits they can’t touch.Elon Musk blasted short-sellers as bloodsuckers. Bill Gates, Michael Burry, and others have bet against Tesla. Mohamed El-Erian warned of commercial real-estate pain as refinancing looms.China Evergrande has had a wild ride on the stock market in the three weeks since trading resumed.

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

Oil prices climbed, with West Texas Intermediate up 1.05% to $91.72 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, inched higher 0.65% to $94.57 a barrel,Gold was slightly lower at $1,945.70 an ounce. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher by one basis points to 4.333%.Bitcoin climbed 3.03% to $27,314

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