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Wall Street Falters Despite Drops In Fed's Favorite Inflation Rate; Energy Stocks, Yields Rise On Trump's Debate Performance: What's Driving Markets Friday?

Wall Street experienced a lackluster session during midday trading in New York, with major indices inching slightly lower despite the arrival of positive inflation data. In May 2024, the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index, the Federal Reserve’s key measure of inflation, fell to its lowest level since March 2021, recording an annual rate of 2.6%, which aligned with economists’ predictions. This inflation report further indicates that price pressures are moving towards the Fed’s 2% target, reinforcing market expectations for potential interest rate cuts. However, there is more caution in the market reactions this time, potentially because investors are evaluating the political and economic implications stemming from the first presidential debate held Thursday night between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, with most political analysts indicating a landmark win for the latter. Energy stocks were the top performers among S&P 500 sectors ...