US Stocks Lower on Middle East Tension

Wall Street’s main indexes slipped on Tuesday, hit by trade jitters and rising tensions in the Middle East, while investors focused on speeches by Federal Reserve officials for clues on monetary policy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is among a host of central bank policymakers scheduled to speak amid rising expectations of an interest rate cut for the first time since the financial crisis.

Traders fully expect a rate cut from the U.S. central bank in July and see a 40% chance of a 50 basis point move, CME Group’s FedWatch program showed.

The banking sector, which tends to take a hit from a low interest rate environment, was down 0.83%, while the financial sector dropped 0.5%. [US/]

The prospect of more monetary stimulus for the economy has helped Wall Street’s main indexes rise a least 6.5% this month, with the S&P 500 hitting a record high last week.

via Reuters