Economy

Wall Street flat as banks fall after weak data; Fed eyed

Wall Street flat as banks fall after weak data; Fed eyed”

NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) - A slide in technology stocks pulled down the Nasdaq Composite on Wednesday and the S&P 500 ended slightly lower, as investors anxious about the pace of economic growth after weaker-than-expected inflation numbers and an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

Energy shares, which have risen in the past three sessions, were off 0.74 percent.

The U.S. central bank cited continued U.S. economic growth and job market strength, proceeding with its first tightening cycle in more than a decade. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the third time in six months.

The S&P 500 is up 8.58 points, or 0.4 percent. Tech remains up 18 percent in 2017.

The Nasdaq jumped 44.90 (+0.73 percent) to close at 6,220.37, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,440.35, up 10.96 (+0.45 percent) from its open.

The consumer-price index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/inflation-falls-again-in-may-as-cpi-recedes-from-recent-high-water-mark-2017-06-14), or cost of living, fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in May, largely thanks to lower gasoline prices, which also depressed retails sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-retail-sales-in-may-are-weakest-in-16-months-2017-06-14) last month.

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The Nasdaq is up 12.45 points, or 0.2 percent. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note, the most sensitive to changes in Fed policy, trimmed earlier decline and was recently down 3 basis points to 1.34%.

Financials gained 0.4 per cent on Tuesday, while energy gained 0.7 per cent. Materials were the top gaining sector, rising 1.3 per cent. US data showed an unexpectedly large weekly build in USA gasoline inventories and International Energy Agency (IEA) data projected a big increase in non-OPEC output in 2018.

At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 9.23 points, or 0.04 percent, at 21,337.7.

Tuesday's market action reflected "a continuation of running up some of the areas that have not participated over the course of the last few months, in combination with some speculation that the Fed is going to be more resolute about raising rates than investors had begun to anticipate in the bond market", said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank in Cleveland. "Certainly more transparency is a good thing".

H&R Block rose 8.8 percent to $29.39 after the tax preparation service provider's fourth-quarter revenue and profit beat analysts' expectations. Biogen, where Clancy had been working, fell 3.1 per cent.



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