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Dow logs tepid gain, but stock market sputters as Fed signals coming rate hikes
U.S. stock benchmarks ended in positive territory on Wednesday, booking solid monthly gains, but losing altitude after the Federal Reserve hinted that it is set to raise interest rates as early as its next meeting in March. As expected, the central bank held key rates at a range between 1.25% and 1.50%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 72.50 points, or 0.3%, at 26,149, boosted by a sharp earnings-fueled gain in component Boeing Co. . The S&P 500 index added a little over a point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,824, as the health-care sector put in the worst performance among the broad-market gauge's 11 sectors, down 1.4%, following Tuesday's announcement of a health-care consortium, including Amazon.com Inc. , J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. , and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. . The Nasdaq Composite Index ended the session up 0.1% at 7,411. Wednesday afternoon, the Fed said it expected sluggishly low inflation to "move up this year and to stabilize" around Fed's 2% annual target. Given that it said the Fed "expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant further gradual increases," which was read as a signal that a March rate hike should be expected. For the month, the Dow closed up 5.8%, the S&P 500 finished with a monthly rise of 5.6%, while the Nasdaq put in a monthly gain of 7.4%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Dow up 140 points after Fed leaves rates unchanged, adopts tepidly hawkish stance
U.S. stock indexes held on to modest gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left key interest rates unchanged, but signaled that the economy is improving. The central bank didn't offer a clear signal about when it might lift interest rates next but its comments on the health of the U.S. economy and its expectations that sluggish inflation, hovering just below the Fed's 2% annual target, will normalize, suggests that the central bank is ready to tighten further in 2018, if not by March as the market is betting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 140 points, or 0.5%, at 26,207, the S&P 500 index advanced 0.2% at 2,827 and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3% at 7,422.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
EMERGING MARKETS-Mexico peso firms after Fed maintains U.S. rate outlook
By Bruno Federowski and Sheky Espejo
Dec 13 (Reuters) - Mexico's peso currency and stocks firmed
on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the cost of
borrowing, but did not signal that it could pick up the pace of
rate hikes next year.
Signs of quicker U.S. economic growth had prompted
speculation that the Fed could have forecast more rate hikes
next year. But the U.S. central bank's forecast of three hikes
in 2018 and 2019 was unchanged from its projections in
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