PARIS (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange opened moderately higher on Monday, in a cautious market ahead of the hearings of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in Congress and the report on the labor market, two highly anticipated meetings which could provide guidance on monetary policy in the United States.

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In early trading, the Dow Jones index gained 89.41 points, or 0.27%, to 33,480.38 points and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.34% to 4,059.25 points.

The Nasdaq Composite takes 0.5%, or 58.327 points, to 11,747.333.

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The approach of the biannual hearings of Jerome Powell in Congress, Tuesday and Wednesday, encourage investors to be cautious.

“It could provide clues about the evolution that employment and inflation must take to push the Fed to act in a particular way and especially to opt for a possible hike in rates by 50 basis points”, has said Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank.

Markets believe the Fed will make three more quarter-point rate hikes this year, peaking at 5.44% in September.

The Friday publication of employment figures for February will be the other major event of the week.

The Reuters consensus expects 200,000 job creations after the spectacular jump of 517,000 recorded in January, which had led the markets to revise their forecasts for interest rates upwards.

On the stock market, Apple gained 2.40% after a positive rating from Goldman Sachs, whose recommendation is to buy.

(Laetitia Volga, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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