Stocks steady as focus turns to Fed rate cuts

Wall Street stocks hit pause at the start of a holiday-shortened week, holding steady after notching their third straight week of wins as hopes for a retreat in US interest-rate hikes persisted.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) hovered just above the flatline, while those on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were up roughly 0.2%.

Stocks have stayed aloft as signs of cooler inflation encouraged the market to believe the Federal Reserve is finally…

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