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Friday, April 23, 2021

Why There Are Stocks Up… and a Bumpy Ride Ahead

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What happened

Rising stocks were expected to revive optimism on Wall Street. The S&P 500 was already up about 0.5 percent before the Monday trading session started, after an unexpected decline in nonfarm payrolls on Friday raised doubts about the Federal Reserve’s decision earlier this month to raise interest rates.

But so far, traders were only confident about the cost of oil, with futures on the dollar and bond yields near their lowest levels since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

What’s next

The jobs report was the last major hurdle to clear before Congress reaches a deadline to lift a 33-year-old ban on crude oil exports. Industry officials are girding for an increase in exports once the ban is lifted, though their opinion of President Trump’s plan to replace the old ban with a fee on domestic oil production was mixed on Monday.

What people are saying

“I don’t think any of this worries me much about a rate hike in December,” said Michael Murphy, an investment strategist at R.W. Pressprich & Co. “I think oil is going to be problematic, just because we want to raise rates right now and we want to start to see inflation pick up. But I think they’re going to keep raising rates as long as oil stays weak.”

What’s on the agenda

Senate Democrats pressed their attempt to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. A vote is expected Tuesday and could be delayed.

Today’s economic calendar

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will both speak at an event in New York. For the Fed, the last assessment of the economy from policymakers left its benchmark rate unchanged but warned of a bumpy ride ahead.

What The New York Times is saying

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