Enero 24, 2018

US stocks end mixed after Fed rate hike decision

14 Diciembre 2017, 04:52 | Azura Castelo


Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who will step down in February has said she thinks the forces that have been holding inflation down are temporary and that she expects it will soon be on the rise again

U.S. stocks gained but moved off their session highs after Congressional leaders said they'd reached a tentative agreement on a tax overhaul package.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday and released a new batch of economic forecasts that very much reaffirm conventional wisdom among economists about the Republican tax cut plan: it will not do much to boost economic growth.

A Fed governor since 2012 and former Treasury official in the George H.W. Bush administration, Powell is not an economist by trade.

Nordic American Tankers Ltd (NYSE:NAT) slipped 25.34% ahead of the bell after telling the market before the bell that it plans to sell US$100mln shares via a public offering as part of its recapitalisation plans. In testimony last month, Yellen modified the Fed's storyline, acknowledging that this year's inflation data were "surprisingly subdued" and even "puzzling". The central bank lifted the federal funds rate to a target range of 1.25 to 1.50 per cent, and also projected three more hikes in each of 2018 and 2019. "That said, there's still no doubt they will raise rates this afternoon".

BETTING ON FINANCIALS: Banks and other financial stocks accounted for many of the market's gains. This repeated sequence raises an obvious question: How can the Fed be certain that the scheduled path of rate increases is consistent with its inflation target, while simultaneously becoming less and less certain about what causes inflation? The Fed was absolutely correct to step in strongly in 2008 but as far back as four years ago, it was clear that the economy was strong enough to function satisfactorily without the persistent application of the Fed's medicine. Gold rose with most industrial metals.

U.S. retail sales data is due on Thursday.

The euro was flat at $1.1745, after slipping to a three-week low of $1.17175 the previous day. Benchmark U.S. crude declined 11 cents to $57.88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 13.48 points, or 0.20 percent, to 6,875.80.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 inched up 0.1 percent.

DISAPPOINTING RESULTS: Casey's General Stores slumped 8.2 percent after its second-quarter profit fell short of analysts' estimates.

The FOMC's September economic projections proved to have underestimated the strength of the economy, with GDP numbers revised upward to 2.5% for 2017, up from the estimated 2.1% in September. India's Sensex dropped 0.7 percent.

Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,247.33 an ounce. A Senate committee approved Powell's nomination and sent it to the full Senate, where his confirmation is considered certain.

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