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We come into this week off the back of a run of four weekly advances in a row for the S&P 500, and the index began the day off brightly enough, quickly racing up 0.3% earlier in the session.
Some of those gains had been pared back by early afternoon in New York, though, with the S&P up 0.18% at 1764.9, while the Dow slid into negative territory, off 0.03% at 15,610.
The S&P 500 has gained close to 24% this year, on track for its best performance in ten years; much of the rally has been fanned by the loose monetary policy of the Fed.
St Louis Fed President James Bullard defended the Fed’s on-going stimulus in an interview with CNBC today, describing Quantitative Easing as a ‘normal policy when the policy rate is zero’, calling it ‘a very reasonable thing to do’, despite the large magnitude of the Fed’s monthly purchases, which he acknowledged was a ‘torrid pace’, and said he wanted the Fed to meet its goals, namely improvement in the unemployment rate and inflation closer to 2%.
Some key metrics for the US economy will be released later this week: we have the first estimate for Q3 gross domestic product on Thursday, with growth expected to slow to 2.0% from the 2.5% seen in Q2, followed by official government employment data for October on Friday. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 7.3%.