Stocks fall on lack of Fed ac­tion

The News-Times - - BUSINESS -

Stocks fell and the dol­lar ex­tended gains af­ter the Fed­eral Re­serve left in­ter­est rates un­changed while con­firm­ing it was still on course to hike in De­cem­ber.

Tech un­der­per­formed af­ter Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. gave a dis­ap­point­ing fore­cast and Roku Inc. re­ported slower growth, while a rout in en­ergy com­pa­nies helped pull down the S&P 500 In­dex from a one-month high. Oil fell a ninth straight day and reached a bear mar­ket. Trea­sury yields held steady.

In­vestors had largely an­tic­i­pated that the Fed wouldn’t change in­ter­est rates at to­day’s an­nounce­ment, so in­stead were fo­cused on look­ing for any sig­nals on the pace of pol­icy tight­en­ing into 2019. The cen­tral bank said “eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity has been ris­ing at a strong rate” and job gains “have been strong,” ac­knowl­edg­ing a drop in the un­em­ploy­ment rate, while re­peat­ing its out­look for “fur­ther grad­ual” rate in­creases in its state­ment.

“The Fed didn’t make any sig­nif­i­cant changes,” said Michael Ning, the chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at PhaseCap­i­tal. “They are send­ing a mes­sage: They are do­ing what­ever they’ve been do­ing.”

Else­where, Euro­pean stocks pared an ear­lier ad­vance spurred by strong earn­ings from com­pa­nies in­clud­ing As­traZeneca Plc, though they ended in the green af­ter an up­beat day in Asia. Ital­ian bond yields jumped af­ter the Euro­pean Union warned the na­tion’s bud­get deficit will move dan­ger­ously close to the bloc’s limit of 3 per­cent.

U.S. fil­ings for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits held near an al­most five-decade low, in­di­cat­ing a ro­bust job mar­ket. China re­ported a surge in ex­ports and im­ports for Oc­to­ber, months be­fore the next round of tar­iff hikes in the trade war with the U.S. is set to kick in.

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