Fed members hint at a possible pause - US Market Wrap

31 May 2023 20:17US Bonds US Indexes USD

Stock traders attempting to scale a fear wall saw the American equity benchmark struggle to maintain its monthly gains in the final trading session of May.

Even comments from some Federal Reserve officials hinting at a possible pause in interest-rate hikes in June couldn't lift the S&P 500 back into the green on Wednesday. Concerns about the global economy resurfaced, regional bank declines raised some eyebrows, and the ferocious rally in big tech paused - with Nvidia down 5.7% after nearly tripling in value this year.

While many on Wall Street believe the enthusiasm for tech behemoths will not fade anytime soon, there is growing concern that other industries have not been able to catch up in a meaningful way.

The S&P 500 fell below the key level again just a few days after breaking above 4,200. Wednesday's losses cut the index's May gain to 0.3%. This compares to a 7.6% increase in the Nasdaq 100, which had its longest monthly winning streak since December 2021, and a 17% increase in a gauge of megacaps such as Tesla and Apple.

Earlier today, equities extended losses after the Labor Department's so-called JOLTS report revealed that employer vacancies unexpectedly rose to more than 10 million. The figures reinforced speculation the Fed would have room for another interest-rate hike by July - boosting the odds of a hard landing