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Stocks edge lower as investors wait to hear from the Fed

Stocks edge lower as investors wait to hear from the Fed

MARKETING NEWS

Stocks edge lower as investors wait to hear from the Fed

Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 had its biggest drop in four weeks and broke a five-day winning streakBy DAMIAN J. TROISE AP Business WriterAugust 18, 2021, 5:35 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBEIJING — Stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 had its biggest drop in four weeks and broke a five-day winning streak.Investors are waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve, which will release the minutes from its latest policy meeting in the afternoon.The S&P 500 index fell 0.2% as of 1:26 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 73 points, or 0.2%, to 35,269 and the Nasdaq composite was essentially flat. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks was up 0.5%.The Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its July meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern. Investors will be looking for any guidance from the Fed on its policymakers’ thoughts on how the U.S. economy is doing coming out of the pandemic as well as any concerns they might have about inflation.The biggest worry among stock market investors is that the Fed will end its easy money policies earlier than expected to combat inflation, which would put some drag on the U.S. economy in its recovery.Some Fed officials, citing strong hiring growth and rising inflation, have said that the central bank should start normalizing monetary policy soon. Others argue the Fed needs to see stronger economic data to be sure a recovery is established.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.30% from 1.25% late Tuesday.The surge this summer of virus cases because of the highly contagious delta variant now hangs over the broader market and is blurring the view on the economy’s continued recovery. The path of the virus and its impact on consumer spending and job growth could be a factor in the Fed’s decision making.“We’re having a pretty cautious week for the most part,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance. “A lot of the people who were optimistic that reopening would happen quickly are obviously disappointed, but we’re looking at what’s happening with the delta variant as more of a setback, not a change in direction,” he said.The surprisingly aggressive spread of the delta variant has prompted U.S. health officials to recommend COVID-19 booster shots to all vaccinated Americans, though the overall plan awaits a Food and Drug Administration evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose. Makers of COVID-19 vaccines were mixed following the news. Pfizer rose 1% and Moderna fell 2.3%.Earnings season is winding down, with retailers being among the last industries to report. Lowe’s rose 10.3% after the home improvement company reported results that were better than expected. It also gave an upbeat forecast. That’s in contrast to Home Depot, which the day before seemed to indicate a slowing down in sales after the do-it-yourself boom in the pandemic.Companies reporting after the closing bell include the brokerage app Robinhood, chipmaker Nvidia and telecommunications giant Cisco Systems.


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