Trump, trade, Fed take sheen off S&P's record day

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York U.S

Unemployment, at 3.9 percent, is near a 50-year low.

For the second time in a month, President Trump publicly expressed his displeasure with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, saying that it should be more accommodating to economic growth.

US gold futures for December delivery settled up $3.30 at $1,203.30 per ounce.

In any case, even before yesterday's comments by the President, there was already a debate going on in the markets, as to the wisdom of the Fed going too quickly where rates are concerned.

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"Many participants suggested that if incoming data continued to support their current economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation", according to the minutes.

In minutes of its most recent meeting, released Wednesday, central bankers warned that a "major escalation" of trade disputes could speed inflation and cause businesses to pull back on investment. Since appointment, however, Trump has advocated for lower rates and shown a surprising willingness to comment on the Fed and Jerome Powell's decisions directly.

Trump selected Powell for the job past year from a short list of several prominent central bankers, praising Powell for his "wisdom" and "leadership" skills when he nominated him formally in November. In July, the president bashed the rate hikes during an interview with CNBC but also praised Powell as a good person.

Trump also said China was manipulating its yuan currency to make up for having to pay tariffs on imports imposed by Washington.

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"I think this is a correction to refresh and determine what the next path is". "You could see Jerome Powell hit back a little, not per se by naming (Trump) but going on why they still feel policy is accommodative". Minutes from the Fed's July 31-Aug 1 policy meeting are expected later on Wednesday, which investors will study for clues on further rate hikes in the United States. Does the Federal Reserve have the means to fight the next recession?

With analysts expecting another USA interest rate increase in September, there is a possibility of disappointment.

His comments dented some of the market optimism ahead of lower-level trade talks between the USA and China starting later today.

At 12:58 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35.09 points, or 0.14 percent, at 25,787.20, the S&P 500 was up 0.94 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,863.90 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 20.61 points, or 0.26 percent, at 7,879.78. The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a brisk 4.1 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the fastest such pace since 2014. Platinum gained 0.46 percent last week, accumulating an overall increase of 0.91 percent. Trump's remarks break a fifty-year taboo against direct remarks from a sitting President on the Fed and the Fed Chairman. The central bank is created to be independent from political interference.

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Despite criticism from the White House, economists give the Powell-led Fed very high marks.

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