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Stocks – Market Ends Mixed; September Looks Bullish for Wall Street

Investing.com - Stocks finished the day little changed, but that might be good news.

The market's performance suggested some confidence. The S&P 500 finished down 0.07%. The Dow was up 0.14% for its eighth-straight gain. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.22%, with the Nasdaq 100 Index down 0.31%. And losses trimmed by the close.

Meanwhile, September is proving a good month for stocks overall, potentially the best September since 2010. The S&P 500 is up 2.77%, with the Dow up 3.1% and the Nasdaq 2.69%.

With the close, the averages were near all-time highs. The S&P 500 was off 0.68% from its all-time high of 3,027.98, reached July 26. The Dow off 0.65% and the Nasdaq 1.95% away.

Weakness in big tech stocks, including chipmaker Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) pulled both Nasdaq indexes modestly lower. And about half the Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher.

Apple regained some ground after challenging a Goldman Sachs assertion that Apple's pricing plans for its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV+ service could hurt earnings. No, Apple said in a comment sent to CNBC, it won't affect results at all.

But bank stocks generally had a strong day. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) rose nearly 2% and hit a 52-week high of $120.40. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) jumped 1.9%. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) finished up 1.69%. Citigroup (NYSE:C) was up 1.57%, and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) added 0.53%.

The fuel was rising interest rates. The 10-Year Treasury yield rose to 1.899% on Friday, up from 1.791% on Thursday and an intraday low of 1.452% on Sept. 4. The yield is still down 29% from Dec. 31.

The catalyst that's helped stocks this month is still in place: a thawing in the trade tensions between the United States and China. The U.S. agreed to delay imposition of new tariffs for two weeks. China said it would buy soybeans and pork products and not impose scheduled tariffs on those U.S. products. Officials from both countries are set to meet in Washington next month.

But a new question mark will challenge markets next week. Will the Federal Reserve cut interest rates after its two-day meeting? The decision will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

Because of this week's interest-rate rise, most analysts expect the Fed to cut its federal funds rate to 1.75% to 2% from 2% to 2.25%. But Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool put the odds on Friday for that at 78.5%, down from 90% Thursday and a week ago.

President Donald Trump, worried in part about the 2020 election, wants the Fed to cut rates substantially, perhaps even to zero.

Meanwhile, gold and oil prices slipped on Friday and ended the week lower.

The week saw the major averages rise roughly 1% across the board.

Despite lower oil prices, Cimarex Energy (NYSE:XEC) and Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), plus Freeport-McMoran Copper&Gold (NYSE:FCX) and DuPont (NYSE:DD), were among the top S&P 500 performers.

Insurance company Progressive (NYSE:PGR), telecommuncations company CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), trading-platform operator MarketAxess Holdings (NASDAQ:MKTX) and cigarette maker Altria (NYSE:MO) were among the weakest S&P 500 stocks.

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