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Christine Romans: Stocks need a reason to hit record highs

Posted at 6:27 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 08:27:12-04

Stocks are so close to record highs and searching for a reason to break through.

The Dow is just 99 points shy of a closing high in an environment swirling with conflicting catalysts. The core economy and jobs market appear strong, but signs of slowing in manufacturing and labor are driving interest rates lower.

President Trump is dug in in his trade war with China, and at the same time bashing the institution he expects will step in to insulate the economy from the fallout.

A day after he lashed out against the Federal Reserve on Twitter, The Hill reported the president says he has the power to remove the Fed chief “if I wanted to.”

His war with the independent Fed has some concerned that he is changing the way the Fed operates and polluting what should be a politics-free decision-making.

The Fed chief has the chance to respond in a public appearance today. My guess is he remains diplomatic.

Barring smoke signals from the Fed, the next catalyst could come from the upcoming meeting with President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Osaka later this week.

A concrete trade deal is not expected so soon, but a framework for how to move forward could emerge.

Until more clarity, stocks feel indecisive after an incredible run-up for the month. For the Dow, up 7.6%, the S&P 500 up 7.3% and the Nasdaq up 9.1%.