The release of Federal Reserve minutes first fuelled Wall Street gains, before flaming out as the market drew to a close on Wednesday sending stocks lower for the second straight session. Investors are factoring other things in to the picture besides inflation and the rate of Fed tightening. The US Treasury issuance of debt $258bn worth this week and corresponding rising yields is also stirring anxiety according to market commentators.
Blue-chip index, Dow Jones industrial average, slipped -0.67% and Nasdaq slid -0.22%. Small caps bucked the trend and rose +0.12%. The S&P 500 fell -0.55% as energy stocks weighed. Leading laggards were Devon Energy -11.85% and Newfield Exploration down -9.87%. Advanced Auto Parts added +8.21%, while logistics services company, Expeditors International of Washington saw a +3.33% lift.
- Dow 24,796.75 -0.67%
- S&P 500 2,701.33 -0.55%
- Nasdaq 7218.23 -0.22%
- Russell 2000 1,531.84 +0.12%
- NYSE Composite 12,695.53 -0.53%
- Gold 1,325.9 -0.40%
- Oil WTI $61.30 -0.79%
Equity markets are wobbling as the outlook, according to experts, is for US inflation to rise possibly a little faster than the Fed expects, which will likely see the central bank adjust and do some policy tightening. Some economists are pencilling in up to four perhaps five rate rises in 2018. The expectation is that the first hike is imminent at the next Federal Reserve meeting 20 March.
Yields jolted upwards to four-year highs on Wednesday after release of the Fed meeting minutes. The dollar edged up and WTI crude slipped ahead of data from the Energy Information Administration in Thursday.