S&P 500 AND DOW CLOSE HIGHER AFTER FED LEAVES DOOR OPEN FOR DECEMBER RATE HIKE

U.S. equities closed mostly higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged.

The S&P 500 finished 0.16 percent higher at 2,579.36, with energy leading advancers.

Estee Lauder was the best-performing individual stock in the index, rising 9.2 percent. The company posted better-than-expected quarterly results. Envision Healthcare, meanwhile, was the biggest laggard, dropping 34.2 percent on weaker-than-expected earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 57 points higher at 23,435.01 after rising 140 points at its session highs. The Nasdaq composite underperformed, sliding 0.2 percent to 6,716.53 with Apple declining more 1.3 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
Change
%Change
DJIADow Industrials23435.0157.770.25%
S&P 500S&P 500 Index2579.364.100.16%
NASDAQNASDAQ Composite6716.53-11.14-0.17%

The major indexes hit record highs earlier in the session — boosted by strong gains in overseas markets and rising commodity prices — before fading from those levels.

The Fed kept interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected. Market expectations for a rate hike Wednesday were just 1.5 percent ahead of the announcement, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The central bank, however, did leave the door open for a December rate hike. There was also little in the post-meeting statement Wednesday to indicate that the Fed would hold off on raising rates again soon.

Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.

Expectations for a December rate hike are nearly 100 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

“I think everyone was expecting what they said,” said Anthony Conroy, president at Abel Noser. “What they’re doing is giving everyone a chance to prepare themselves for a December rate hike.”

U.S. stock futures traded sharply higher before the bell, as investors took their cue from a rise in overseas equities and commodity prices. Investors also shrugged off the government delaying the release of a tax reform bill until Thursday.

The Stoxx 600 index, which is composed of a broad swath of European stocks, rose 0.39 percent. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 1.9 percent. U.S. crude, meanwhile, briefly rose more than 1 percent before settling 0.15 percent lower at $54.30 per barrel. Gold prices rose 0.5 percent to settle at $1,277.30 an ounce.

“Japanese and European stocks are up big and commodities are also up in general,” said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. “I think the market just feels like things are getting better.”

U.S. equities are coming off of strong monthly gains. The S&P 500 and the Dow rose 2.2 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, in October.

They received a big boost from strong corporate earnings results. As of Wednesday morning, 73 percent of the companies that have reported have surpassed earnings expectations, while 67 percent have surpassed sales estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In economic news, the U.S. private sector added 235,000 jobs in October, according to a report from ADP and Moody’s. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 200,000 jobs.

“A snapback in jobs creation is correcting the aberration of the previous month,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.

The ADP report usually serves as a preview to the government’s monthly jobs report, which is scheduled for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Other data released Wednesday include the ISM manufacturing index, which hit 58.7 in October, and construction spending, which rose 0.3 percent in September.

Janet Yellen

Measured Fed decision signals December hike likely  

S&P 500 and Dow close higher after Fed leaves door open for December rate hike

S&P 500 and Dow close higher after Fed leaves door open for December rate hike  

– https://www.cnbc.com

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