Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 23, 2018.
Thursday’s gains come as investors digest the Federal Reserve’s latest decision on monetary policy. The central bank raised rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, its third rate hike of the year. The Fed also removed the word “accommodative” from its policy statement.
“What this tells us is they will continue to gradually raise rates as they’ve told us they would,” said Collin Martin, director of fixed income at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “There was a lot of build-up to this meeting but we think it was much ado about nothing.”
Equities closed lower on Wednesday after the decision as a decline in Treasury yield dragged down bank shares.
Expectations for a rate hike in December also increased after the Fed’s announcement.
“I think this made it pretty clear we’ll probably get a fourth rate hike but we still have to look at trade talks and the midterms and see what happens,” said Simona Mocuta, senior economist at State Street Global Advisors.
Meanwhile, trade tensions between the U.S. and China continue to escalate. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump accused China of intending to interfere in November’s congressional elections. He added, without providing evidence, that Beijing didn’t want the Republican party to perform well. This prompted an immediate rejection from the Chinese government, which said it didn’t intrude on another country’s domestic matters.
Trump also criticized Canada for the slow pace of discussions concerning the overhaul of NAFTA. The president said he had recently vetoed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation for a one-on-one meeting — a claim that prompted a spokesman of Trudeau’s government to state that no such meeting had been requested. Trump did agree, however, to start trade talks with Japan.