S&P 500 rises, Pfizer’s vaccine shows promise, Fed minutes analysis

The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York City, New York, U.S., June 26, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stocks rose modestly to start the third quarter on Wednesday. Positive coronavirus vaccine data from Pfizer and a strong private payrolls report boosted sentiment. Stocks are coming off of the best quarter in decades in a rebound from the depths of the coronavirus market rout. 

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates. 

2:29 pm: The S&P 500 having its best 100-day stretch in more than 80 years

Data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group showed the S&P 500 is having its best 100 calendar-day stretch since 1933, rallying nearly 40% in that time. “The last 100 days for the S&P 500 will no doubt go down as legendary in the annals of stock market history (just as the 33 days that preceded them were also historic),” Bespoke said in a note. — Imbert

Source: Bespoke Investment Group

2:25 pm: Economy will likely need monetary support ‘for some time,’ Fed minutes show

Federal Reserve officials think the U.S. economy will need monetary support “for some time” as the country tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the minutes released Wednesday from the central bank’s most-recent meeting. The minutes also said “it will be important in coming months for the Committee to provide greater clarity regarding the likely path of the federal funds rate and asset purchases. Participants generally indicated support for outcome-based forward guidance.” — Imbert 

2:23 pm: Fed policymakers say negative rates won’t be an attractive tool

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed policymakers were not considering negative interest rates. “This view was supported by Federal Reserve communications that negative interest rates did not appear to be an attractive policy tool,” the minutes said. The central bankers pointed out a decline in the federal funds rate and remained close to the effective lower bound. Meanwhile, market-implied forward rates referring to 2021 and 2022 turned slightly negative for a few days beginning on May 7. However, the policymakers said, “this development did not reflect investors expecting the FOMC to lower the federal funds rate target range below zero.” — Li

2:21 pm: Fed to keep interest rates low to maintain inflation target

Interest rates will remain low for some time to come, just to maintain a healthy inflation level, according to minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. “Participants noted that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy would likely be needed for some time to achieve the 2 percent inflation objective over the longer run,” the Fed minutes read. The Fed also noted the pandemic’s effects on the economy and inflation: “Members further concurred that the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and posed considerable downside risks to the economic outlook over…

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