Morning traders. Thanks loungers, especially @Ravgnome and...

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    Morning traders. Thanks loungers, especially @Ravgnome and @Patterns.

    A bit of house-keeping: uranium seems to have gone to sleep again, as it often does for years. Price hasn't changed for days. Unless anyone has any objections, I'll drop it from the morning list. Can always bring it back if/when it reignites. Also, does anyone care about US natural gas futures?

    Outlook for the day: Negative as declines in key commodity prices offset slender gains and new highs for US stocks.

    ASX futures: down 41 points or 0.52%

    Overnight themes
    • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq inched to record closes after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said "more good data" would strengthen the case for rate cuts.
    • The S&P 500 edged up 0.07% to a fifth straight record close, its 36th of 2024. Gains in banks, healthcare providers and utilities offset declines in resource stocks and industrials.
    • The Nasdaq also logged a new closing high, adding 0.14% after a broker upgrade helped lift Nvidia 2.48%. Tesla gained 3.71%.
    • The Dow remained stuck in a sideways trading pattern, easing 0.13% as almost two-thirds of its component companies declined. The blue-chip average has not set a new record since May.
    • Stocks rose after central bank chief Powell indicated the case for rate cuts was strengthening. Powell told Senators the economy had cooled, bringing down inflation and there were risks in maintaining restrictive monetary policy too long.
    • "Reducing policy restraint too late or too little could unduly weaken economic activity and employment. More good data would strengthen our confidence that inflation is moving sustainably toward 2 percent," he said in semi-annual testimony before Congress.
    • However, Powell was careful not to give clues about the timeline for the first cut, stating he was not "sending any signals about the timing of any future actions." The Fed Chair is due to continue his testimony tonight before a House committee. Inflation data are due on Thursday and Friday.
    • Financial stocks rallied after Reuters said the Fed was considering amending capital requirements for lenders. Financials was the best-performing sector, gaining 0.65%.
    • Resource stocks underperformed as a rising greenback weighed on dollar-denominated commodity prices. The worst-performing S&P sectors were materials -1.01% and energy -0.94%. Industrials and consumer staples also declined.
    • The Bloomberg Commodity Index dropped 0.61%. Iron ore fell 0.5% in China. Copper lost 0.4% in London. Nickel gave up 1.52%. Brent crude shed 1.27%.

    Key events today:
    • China inflation data - 11.30 am AEST
    • Further congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Powell - tonight

    S&P 500: up 4 points or 0.07%

    Dow: down 53 points or 0.13%

    : up points or 0.14%

    Dollar: down 0.02% to 67.41 US cents

    Iron ore (Dalian): down 0.5% to US$114.70

    Brent crude
    : down US$1.09 or 1.27% to US$84.66

    Natural gas (US futures): down 0.65% to US$2.35

    : up US$4.40 or 0.19% to US$2,367.90

    Silver: down 6 US cents or 0.2% to US$30.79

    NYSE Arca Gold Bugs: down 0.14%

    Bitcoin: up 2.49% to US$57,817

    Copper (LME): down 0.4% to US$9,875

    Nickel (LME): down 1.52% to US$17,140

    Uranium (spot price): steady at US$86.50

    Lithium carbonate (China spot): down 0.15% to US$12,414

    Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF: down 1.45%

    BHP: up 0.02% (US); up 0.26% (UK)

    Rio Tinto: down 0.28% (US); up 0.23% (UK)
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