Wall Street valiantly reversed course during this second session of the April trading term (and on the eve of the conclusion of the FED's FOMC meeting), to such an extent that the S&P500 (+0.6%) set a new all-time closing record at just under 5.180Pts, i.e. 3Pts higher than on March 12.

The Dow Jones soared +0.8% and was less than 0.05% short of an all-time closing record: at 39.111, it was the second-best score in history at the final bell, after the zenith of February 22.

The Nasdaq-100, which had lost as much as -0.8% in the first exchanges, ended with a gain of +0.2%, in the wake of Nvidia +1.1% (what a turnaround: the stock had initially lost -3%), Microsoft +1.2%, Apple and Adobe +1.4%, Illumina +2.3% and Cadence +3.6%.

The Nasdaq was held back by AMD (-4.8%), Marvell (-3.2%), Qualcomm (-1.7%), Intel (-1.6%), KLA and Tesla (-1.4%).

In the US, both housing starts and building permits rose in February, according to Commerce Department statistics.

Housing starts rebounded by 10.3% last month to 1,521,000 units annualized.521,000 at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate, a much stronger recovery than expected.

The number of building permits issued in February rose by 1.9% to 1,518,000 at an annualized rate, again exceeding financial market expectations.

Economists were expecting a rebound in both statistics in February, after the unfavorable weather in January had weighed heavily on the residential construction sector.

Investors are now hoping that the US Federal Reserve will adopt a similarly reassuring tone at the end of its two-day meeting, which begins today.

However, some observers fear that the US central bank is preparing the ground for only two rate cuts this year, whereas it had previously expected three.

In view of the healthy state of the US economy, the money markets now rate an easing in June with only a 50.7% probability, according to the FedWatch barometer.

In the end, the first rate cut may not take place until the 3rd quarter, a far cry from the initial projections of investors who, at the start of the year, were hoping for a reduction in the cost of money as early as March.

On the bond front, on the eve of Jerome Powell's press conference, US T-Bonds eased by -4.5pts to 4.2950%, the 30-year fell back below 4.44%, but the 2-year remained taut at 4.69%.
On the FOREX, the Dollar is still clawing back a few fractions (+0.2% against the Euro, which is retreating towards $1.0850).

Oil is continuing its rally and is now testing $83 on the NYMEX (WTI), closing at 9 p.m. at $82.75.

Gold is not following suit and remains stuck at $2,155.

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