S&P’s streak runs out of steam

US stocks have largely been treading water for most of today, with no fresh news on Syria and the day’s biggest piece of economic news confusing rather than clarifying ahead of the next week’s Fed meeting.

The S&P 500 has dipped slightly today, threatening to bring to an end its run of seven positive finishes in a row. Trading has been light and share prices have largely meandered sideways, with weekly jobless claims data offering little insights because of processing issues that meant the data was unreliable.

Into the last hour of trading in New York, the Dow was up 2 points at 15, 328 and the S&P 500 was down 0.24% at 1685.1. Dow component Disney advanced more than 3% after Jay Rasulo, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, announced that the company will be undertaking a share buyback next year possibly as large as $8 billion.

The next big thing on the horizon for the stock market is the FOMC meeting which begins next Tuesday and concludes on Wednesday. The botched nature of today’s jobless claims means we don’t have quite as much information on the jobs market as I would have liked, but I am intrigued by the latest signals on inflation.

Today’s import and export prices report showed no signs of inflationary pressures. The Fed has acknowledged that inflation is under target but has consistently stuck to its forecasts that inflation will pick up in the second half of the year. We have more data on this tomorrow with the producer price index, which is expected to increase modestly, and we have CPI figures next Tuesday before the FOMC meeting begins, and it will be very interesting if these continue to indicate cooling inflation.

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