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Wall St ekes out gain, dollar slips amid Fed minutes, Trump CEO rebuke

Wall Street eked out a modest gain, while the US dollar slipped as markets digested minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting and CEO backlash against President Donald Trump that renewed concerns about his ability to deliver on his agenda.

The S&P 500 ended the day 0.1 per cent higher at 2,468.11 — led by a 0.9 per cent gain in materials. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by the same margin to 22,024.87, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.2 per cent to 6,345.11.

US stocks, which had begun to recover following concerns about escalating tensions with North Korea last week, saw Wednesday’s advance curbed following backlash from corporate America over President Trump’s response to violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. Following the resignation of a handful of CEO’s Mr Trump on Wednesday moved disband his manufacturing and jobs council, and his strategy and policy forum.

Moments after Mr Trump’s moves, minutes of the Fed’s July meeting showed that officials agreed that balance sheet reduction should begin “relatively soon” but included a vast debate on the inflation, which some argued has remained persistently low.

“The only thing the Fed seems comfortable committing to right now is QT in September ‘absent significant adverse developments in the economy or in financial markets’,” Peter Boockvar, market analyst at the Lindsey Group, noted. “As for when the fed funds rate might go up again, everyone had their own opinion that spanned the spectrum of thought, all with regards to the viewpoint on inflation as the labor market objective has been met.”

That renewed pressure on the US dollar, with the dollar index fell 0.4 per cent to 93.49, and saw US Treasuries rise, with the yield on the 10-year, which moves inversely to price, slipping 4.6 basis points to 2.227 per cent.