Wall St little changed as investors focus on Fed meeting

Wall St little changed as investors focus on Fed meeting”

The three major US indexes were trading lower on Thursday, scaling back from their record levels, weighed down by Apple and the Federal Reserve's indication to raise interest rates for third time despite low inflation. The Nasdaq Composite fell dipped 0.1% to 6456.04.

U.S. stocks have continued to climb this year, with the S&P up about 12 percent so far, helped by strong corporate profits and optimism that U.S. President Donald Trump will cut taxes for businesses.

Investors were also assessing the likely impact of the Fed's decision to start ending monetary stimulus by reducing its approximately $4.2 trillion in holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities from October.

"It's a really quiet market".

"People are still, as they usually are the day before a Fed announcement, kind of in a wait-and-see mode", said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research. "With the things I'm trading today, just nodding at the stock moves prices".

Mostly, though, investors were focused on what the Fed will have to say on Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up less than 1 point to 2,506 as of 10:49 a.m.

Shares of wireless carriers T-Mobile rose 4 percent and Sprint 6 percent following a report that the companies were in active merger talks.

BIG GAINERS: Industrials companies were among the big gainers in the S&P 500 index. Insurer Aetna and kidney care company DaVita lost almost 3% apiece.

About 5.8 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges.

Best Buy fell 8 percent after the No. 1 USA electronics retailer forecast fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings well below Wall Street estimates.

Looking forward, investors hope to get more details on the Fed's rate-hike path. That will gradually increase long-term borrowing rates.

However, data last week showing a bigger-than-expected jump in USA consumer prices gave a fresh boost to investor expectations for one more rate rise in 2017.

Inflation has remained stubbornly below the Fed's 2-percent target rate, but a recent data showed uptick in domestic consumer prices, which raised the chances of a December rate hike by more than 50 percent.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 added less than 0.1%, posting its eighth advance in the past 10 trading sessions.

USA stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Thursday, wiping out modest gains from a day earlier and placing stock market indexes on course for their first drop this week. Tesla fell 2.6 percent after Jefferies started coverage of the electric auto maker's stock with an "underperform" rating. AutoZone jumped $12.11, or 2.3 percent, to $547.30, while Yum Brands gained 67 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $76.43.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.47 yen from 111.50 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1997 from $1.1953. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $56.37 a barrel in London. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares gained 0.3 percent. Earlier, in Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.2 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell almost 0.4 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent.

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