Wall Street rises as Target, Lowe's results point to consumer confidence
By April Joyner NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday as upbeat earnings from retailers pointed to strength in U.S. consumer demand, and held gains after minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers had debated a more aggressive interest rate cut. U.S
By April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday as upbeat earnings from retailers pointed to strength in U.S. consumer demand, and held gains after minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers had debated a more aggressive interest rate cut.
U.S. stocks moved solidly higher following better-than-expected results from retailers Target Corp
Robust U.S. consumer spending has helped stave off fears of an impending recession. Concerns about an economic slowdown rose as the yield curve between 2-year and 10-year Treasuries briefly inverted last week. Though the yield curve again briefly inverted on Wednesday, it had little impact on stocks this time around.
"As long as we have the healthy environment in jobs that we have right now, it's going to be very difficult to shake people's confidence," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago. "At the end of the day, if people are employed, they're going to go out and spend some money."
Minutes from the Fed's policy-setting meeting on July 30-31, when the Fed cut rates by 25 basis points, showed that policymakers debated cutting rates more aggressively. Some participants preferred a 50-basis-point cut, but the committee was united in wanting to avoid the appearance of being on a path to further rate cuts.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 240.29 points, or 0.93%, to 26,202.73, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 23.92 points, or 0.82%, to 2,924.43 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 71.65 points, or 0.90%, to 8,020.21.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on Friday at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, central bankers' conference. Several market strategists said Powell's comments at the conclave would offer greater insight on the course of monetary policy than the minutes from the July Fed meeting given developments since then, including U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement of tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The minutes "gave very little forward guidance," said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas. "Jackson Hole is going to be (Powell's) first chance to really talk since the latest tariff announcement."
On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said changes in U.S. and foreign trade policies since January 2018 would reduce inflation-adjusted U.S. gross domestic product by 0.3% from what it would be otherwise by 2020.
Among individual stocks, shares of Toll Brothers Inc
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.51-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.14-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 67 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 5.68 billion shares, compared with the 7.53 billion-share average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
(Reporting by April Joyner; additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Medha Singh and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.