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Mid-Week Interest Rate Watch

Weeks after the Federal Reserve held interest rates at current levels and planned for one cut in 2024, Fed officials continued to exercise caution.

The Fed members will examine future inflation data closely to confirm that it is slowing. Stock markets already expect up to two interest rate cuts this year. The S&P 500 (SPY) added 0.25% on Tuesday to close at 5,487. The Nasdaq (QQQ) held the 17,862 level and is up by 18.48% YTD.

The retail sector is not as certain about interest rate cuts. Celsius Holdings (CELH), a beverage firm, plunged below $60 before closing at $63.28 in the last month. CELH indicated a double-top bearish pattern between March and May at $95. Analysts think the sell-off is overdone. PepsiCo (PEP) lowered its inventory for Celsius products. However, the firm enjoys robust growth.

Investors should watch CELH stock for now. The stock still trades at a premium with a price-to-earnings ratio of 64 times. The sector median is 20 times earnings.

The homebuilding sector is underperforming. Lennar (LEN) peaked at $170 between March and May. It closed at $148.72 after forecasting Q3 new orders of 20,500 – 21,000.

Luxury firm Estee Lauder (EL) peaked at $150. Shares continued to trend lower, closing at $110.79 on no news. It posted FQ3 revenue of $3.94 billion on May 1, 2024, up by 4.8% Y/Y.