Strike Hits Ford, GM Stock

Rise in oil lifts energy producers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2023 3:50 PM CDT
Ford, GM Stock Drops as Strike Continues
United Auto Workers members march through downtown Detroit, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. The UAW is conducting a strike against Ford, Stellantis and General Motors.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

US stocks drifted in quiet trading Monday, as Wall Street made few big moves overall in advance of the Federal Reserve's next meeting on interest rates. The S&P 500 edged up by 3.21 points, or 0.1%, to 4,453.53, coming off its second straight losing week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 6.06, or less than 0.1%, to 34,624,30, and the Nasdaq composite added 1.90, or less than 0.1%, to 13,710.24. A barrel of U.S. crude rose 71 cents to $91.48 Monday. That's up from less than $70 in July. Ford and General Motors fell as a limited strike by the United Auto Workers carried into another day, the AP reports. Ford fell 2.1%, and General Motors slipped 1.8%

Stocks of energy producers, meanwhile, helped to lead the market because of the rise in oil. Exxon Mobil gained 0.8%, and Marathon Petroleum rose 1.6%. Clorox dropped 2.4% after it said a cybersecurity attack caused widespread disruptions to its business. It's still measuring the damage, but it said it expects it to be material on upcoming results. Clorox also said it believes the unauthorized activity has been contained.

Traders almost universally expect the Fed to keep rates steady at its meeting this week, which ends Wednesday. More attention will be on the forecasts Fed officials will publish about where they expect interest rates, the economy, and the job market to head in upcoming years. One of the first the market will fixate on is how high officials at the Fed see its main interest rate rising this year. Traders are betting on a roughly 40% chance the Fed will raise rates again in either November or December, according to data from CME Group.

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But just as much attention will be on what Fed officials say about next year, when investors expect the Fed to begin cutting interest rates. Investors crave such cuts, which typically loosen up financial conditions and give boosts to financial markets. The big question is by how much the Fed could cut. Economists at Goldman Sachs expect Fed officials to indicate a full percentage point of cuts next year, after raising rates one more time this year to a range of 5.50% to 5.75%.

(More stock market stories.)

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