by Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange ended mixed on Tuesday, ahead of the release of a series of key indicators, including U.S. inflation data, which could provide guidance on when which the Federal Reserve (Fed) could begin its rate cuts.

The Dow Jones index fell -0.25%, or 96.82 points, to 38,972.41 points.

The broader S&P-500 gained 8.65 points, or 0.17%, to 5,078.18 points.

The Nasdaq Composite advanced 59.05 points (0.37%) to 16,035.30 points.

As the corporate earnings season draws to a close, investors are turning their attention to economic data and the evolution of interest rates in the United States.

The market rally accelerated last week after the publication of Nvidia’s quarterly accounts, which reported a higher-than-expected revenue forecast for the current quarter.

PCE inflation in the United States, which is expected to be released on Thursday, will be the main indicator of the week. Indeed, the Fed could decide to wait before lowering interest rates if this index reflected recent data on consumer prices (CPI) and producer prices (PPI) in the country.

Jeffrey Schmid, member of the Fed’s board of governors, reminded Monday that the central bank must be patient before lowering its rates.

Michelle Bowman, also a member of the Fed’s board of governors, indicated that there was no rush to lower rates, particularly because of inflation risks.

“The market is at least starting to understand that it’s not going to get what it wants and so it’s backing down,” said Ken Polcari, principal at Kace Capital Advisors in Florida.

Other key indicators to be released this week include the second estimate of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter due Wednesday, and jobless claims.

In stocks, Viking Therapeutics jumped after announcing that its mid-phase trial of its experimental obesity drug had helped patients lose weight “significantly.”

Amgen, which is also developing a drug against obesity, has for its part backed down.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings rose after announcing it expects first-quarter profit to beat market expectations.

( Camille Raynaud)

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