Stocks Waver Ahead of Fed Decision

Date : 10/30/2019 @ 2:02PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD)
Quote : 41.15  -1.44 (-3.38%) @ 4:59AM
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Stocks Waver Ahead of Fed Decision

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By Will Horner 

Global stocks wavered amid a raft of major corporate earnings Wednesday as investors also awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 6 points in early New York trading, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite added less than 0.1%.

General Electric raised its cash-flow outlook for the year, sending its shares more than 8% higher in premarket trading.

Johnson & Johnson shares rose 2.8% off hours after it said Tuesday that a test of its baby powder didn't find traces of asbestos, rebutting U.S. regulators' claims about the product.

Stryker dropped 3.2% after mounting expenses led to a drop in the medical-device maker's earnings. Advanced Micro Devices fell 1.4%. The chip maker issued a forecast for the current quarter late Tuesday that was slightly lower than expected.

A raft of major U.S. companies, including Apple, Facebook, Lyft and Starbucks, are poised to report through the day. There is also widespread expectation that the central bank will cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point after markets close.

While many investors see the 0.25% rate cut as a foregone conclusion, they will look closely to see how the central bank frames the cut and what signals Chairman Jerome Powell provides about monetary policy, according to Geoffrey Yu, head of the U.K. office of UBS's investment arm.

"The market is looking for signs about how committed the Fed is to support policy further," Mr. Yu said. "Everybody knows the Fed has room to lower rates further, the question is how willing are they?"

Meanwhile, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 index was also mostly flat, with some of the region's biggest banks posting declines.

Shares of troubled German lender Deutsche Bank fell 5.7%, their biggest drop since December, after it said efforts to overhaul its global operations had taken a large chunk out of its revenue. Banco Santander declined 5% as third-quarter profit fell 75%.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group surged after the companies confirmed they were discussing a merger that would create the world's fourth-largest auto maker by volume. Fiat shares rose 9.5% in Milan and PSA gained 5.4%. Rival Renault, which had previously received an offer to combine its operations with Fiat, slumped 4.7%.

In the U.K., major stock indexes slipped after lawmakers agreed to hold an early election on Dec. 12 in an attempt to break the stalemate over Brexit. The FTSE 250 gauge slipped 0.4%, while the yield on U.K. government bonds fell to 0.696%. Bond yields fall as prices rise. The British pound ticked up 0.2%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 gauge dropped 0.6%.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2019 09:47 ET (13:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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