Federal Reserve Latest News: Earnings in Spotlight as Fed Jolt Fades

After a recent stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report, investors are more convinced than ever that the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program will be scaled back as soon as September. If that happens, the stock market will lose fuel that helped power the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its new high. Investors hoping that U.S. companies will come to the rescue are likely to be disappointed, according to analysts who have been trimming their expectations in recent weeks. U.S. employers are sending a message of confidence in the economy ? hiring more workers, raising pay and making the job market appear strong enough for the Federal Reserve to slow its bond purchases as early as September. The economy gained a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June because more people started looking for jobs ? a healthy sign ? and some didn't find them. The Labor Department's report pointed to a U.S. job market that's showing surprising resilience in the face of tax increases, federal spending cuts and economic weakness overseas. According to the majority of economists at large Wall Street firms, The Federal Reserve is likely to begin shrinking the size of its debt purchase program, by September of this year. The program, called quantitative easing, was intended to prop up economic growth and support the labor market,
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