Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Wall St. ends off day's highs as Fed sees inflation rising

Wall St. ends off day's highs as Fed sees inflation rising

Stocks bounced back in the last hour of trading, with gains by technology companies outweighing losses in health care and other sectors.

Oil prices suffered pressure on Monday. Yesterday, government bond prices fell (pushing up bond yields), fuelling fears that the bull market might be over.

The Fed kicked off its latest two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.

The dollar index fell 0.15 per cent, with the euro up 0.16 per cent to $1.2401. By the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 362.59 points to close down at 26,076.89, with other USA indexes posting hefty declines.

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The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 3,462.29 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 was off 8 points at 23,281.39.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 11 points, to 1,587.

The technology sector's 0.50 per cent drop weighed the most on the markets, but the biggest decliners were the defensive sectors - utilities, real estate and telecoms, all down more than 0.8 per cent as U.S. 10-year treasury yields hit their highest since 2014.

The question is whether the upbeat economy, booming stock market and tax cuts will force the Federal Reserve to abandon its plan to gradually raise interest rates. The statement follows a two-day meeting of the central bank's policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is stepping down when her term expires at the end of this week. The S&P 600 Index closed at 964.63 for a loss of -9.71 points or -1.00%. Electronic Arts jumped 7.2 percent after the video game maker forecast quarterly earnings and sales that were well ahead of what Wall Street analysts expected.

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The S&P 500 is down 49.06 points, or 1.7 percent. Market expectations for a rate hike are 5.2 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Investors had a reality check early in the week as the Dow Jones industrial average sank 411 points at one point Tuesday, a full-throated market decline led downward by health-care stocks. That being said, Massocca does not anticipate a continued decline. The stock was down more than any other company in the S&P 500, shedding $2.68 to $25.64. The benchmark yield started the year trading around 2.4 percent. The stock slid $1.54 to $58.64.

Stocks fell lower due to a decline in energy shares amid ongoing evidence of rising USA crude output. Benchmark U.S. crude were up 3 cents to $64.53 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Chevron slipped 2.53 percent, Coca Cola was down slightly and Apple sank on reports of fading iPhone X demand. The prospect for stronger economic growth, both in the US and overseas, has helped drive bond yields higher in recent months. We are not saying yields are going to scream higher.

Aside from higher yields, telecom stocks also slipped on reports that the US government was considering building a 5G wireless network to guard against spying. The euro strengthened to $1.2416 from $1.2404.

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