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Stocks Gain Slightly As Close Nears; Chips Fall

April 04, 2011

Stocks could start to move later this week if the European Central Bank raises interest rates on Thursday to stem inflation, as investors consider the implications for U.S. rate policy, according to Brian Battle, vice president of trading at the Performance Trust Capital Partners, who noted voting members of the Fed indicated rates could, in fact, rise later this year. Whether or not the Federal government shuts down Friday amid a budget impasse could also move the markets, Battle said. In the meantime, stocks continued to grind higher.

"We've had oil at $107 a barrel, trouble in the Middle East, a nuclear disaster in Japan, and the stock market trades up 50 points everyday," Battle said.

Investors who make bets the market will go down, also known as "shorts," have been "squeezed out of the market the last six months," he added. "You can't fight it, it keeps grinding higher."