Stock market today: Asian shares mostly rise to start a week full of earnings, Fed meeting


TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares mostly rose Tuesday, as investors kept their eyes on potentially market-moving reports expected later this week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.0% to 38,300.49 in afternoon trading, coming back from a national holiday. Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2% to 7,655.60. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5% to 2,700.82. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged down 0.2% to 17,709.57, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% to 3,105.64.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 16.21 points, or 0.3%, to 5,116.17, coming off its best week since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 146.43, or 0.4%, to 38,386.09, and the Nasdaq composite gained 55.18, or 0.3%, to 15,983.08.

About a third of the companies in the S&P 500, including heavyweights Amazon and Apple, will report this week on how much profit they made during the first three months of the year. With roughly half the companies in the index reporting so far, the quarterly results have largely been better than expected.

Solid earnings reports last week helped the S&P 500 rally to its first winning week in four. The companies in the index look on track for a third straight quarter of growth in earnings per share, according to FactSet.

The stock market will need such strength following a shaky April. The S&P 500 fell as much as 5.5% during the month as signals of stubbornly high inflation forced traders to ratchet back expectations for when the Federal Reserve could begin easing interest rates.

After coming into the year forecasting six or more cuts to rates during 2024, traders are now expecting just one, according to data from CME Group.

When the Federal Reserve announces its latest policy decision Wednesday, no one expects it to move its main interest rate, which is at its highest level since 2001. Instead, the hope is that the central bank could offer some clues about when the first cut to rates could come.

This week’s Fed meeting won’t include the publication of forecasts by Fed officials about where they see rates heading in upcoming years. The last such set of forecasts, released in March, showed the typical Fed official at the time was penciling in three cuts for 2024.

But Fed Chair Jerome Powell could offer more color in his news conference following the central bank’s decision. He suggested earlier this month that rates may stay high for longer because the Fed is waiting for more evidence that inflation is heading sustainably down toward its 2% target.

A report hitting Wall Street on Friday could shift policy makers’ outlook even more. Economists expect Friday’s jobs report to show that hiring by U.S. employers cooled in April and that growth in workers’ wages held relatively steady.

The hope on Wall Street is that the job market will remain strong enough to help the economy avoid a recession but not so strong that it feeds upward pressure into inflation.

In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury eased to 4.61% from 4.67% late Friday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude fell 26 cents to $82.37 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 16 cents to $88.24 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose to 156.72 Japanese yen from 156.28 yen. The euro cost $1.0704, down from $1.0725.

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