A gauge of global stocks rose on Tuesday while U.S. Treasury yields mostly fell as investors assessed economic data and earnings reports ahead of a run of central bank policy announcements.
On Wall Street, U.S. stocks were higher, reversing declines in equity futures after data showed labor cost growth in the fourth quarter was the smallest in a year, at 1.0%, even in a tight labor market. Other data showed consumer confidence eased in January, as inflation expectations for the next 12 months climbed to 6.8% from 6.6% last month.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. Investors will closely monitor comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell following the announcement for clues on the path of monetary policy.
“The Fed tomorrow will have to strike a delicate balance in signaling slowing in the pace of rate increases, while at the same time emphasizing that they’re not done yet with tightening rates,” Oscar Munoz, U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.
“It has to acknowledge the recent improvement in the inflation data, but also note that the job’s not done yet despite the recent good news.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI)
rose 228.15 points, or 0.68%,
, the S&P 500 (.SPX)
gained 37.97 points, or 0.95%,
, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC)
added 137.22 points, or 1.2%,
The S&P 500, up about 5.2% for the month, is on track for its first January gain since 2019.
Interest rate announcements from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are scheduled for Thursday, with both seen as likely to hike rates by 50 basis points.
Markets will also grapple with a host of U.S. economic data this week, culminating in Friday’s payrolls report for January. Investors see signs of weakening in the labor market as a key factor in bringing down high inflation. Other data this week include gauges of the manufacturing and services sectors.
In addition, more than 100 S&P 500 companies, including market heavyweights Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O), are scheduled to report results this week.
European shares retreated ahead of the central bank meetings to end the month on a down note, but still notched their biggest January percentage gain since 2015. Economic data for the euro zone showed slight growth for the fourth quarter, but further weakness is expected this year.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) lost 0.26%, and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) gained 0.39%. MSCI’s index was on pace for its biggest January percentage gain since 2019.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year notes were down 2.9 basis points to 3.522% in the wake of the data, after hitting a two-week high of 3.574% on Monday.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar index
, on track for a fourth month of declines, fell 0.196%, with the euro up 0.22% to $1.0868.
Oil prices recovered from earlier lows, as U.S. crude recently rose 0.81% to $78.53 per barrel and Brent was at $84.47, down 0.51% on the day.