Dow and S&P extend gains

The S&P 500 was on course to achieve its seventh positive finish in a row, trading near the day’s highs late in the New York trading session.

By late afternoon in on Wall Street, the Dow was just a few points shy of another triple-digit gain, up 97 points at 15,288, led by a 2% gain in IBM. The S&P 500 was up less than 0.1% but in positive territory nevertheless.

The NASDAQ 100 was down 0.34%, dragged down by a sharp slide in Apple.

With President Obama asking Congress to postpone their vote on a military strike on Syria, it appears that the market is putting its worries over Syria to one side and that means that attention is increasingly going to focus on next week’s FOMC meeting, which concludes a week today.

The consensus of expectation has been that the Fed will introduce some kind of reduction in the pace of its monthly asset purchases at the meeting, although August’s disappointing employment report is likely to limit the magnitude of any reduction – if one is introduced at all.

Tomorrow we have jobless claims data, with 330,000 expected. That would be a slight increase in the number of claimants from the week before. Also tomorrow we have import and export prices for August. July’s import prices excluding petroleum fell a steep 0.5%, and if we see something similar tomorrow it may have an impact on the Fed’s decision, as we already know that some committee members are concerned about the low rate of inflation.

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