S&P 500 edges lower ahead of Fed decision
(Reuters) – The S&P 500 inched lower on Thursday, as disappointing results from a slew of companies, including Qualcomm Inc, countered gains in bank stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision.
Among the biggest decliners on the benchmark index were Perrigo Co (PRGO.N), Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O) and D.R. Horton Inc (DHI.N), all falling on disappointing quarterly results.
Qualcomm (QCOM.O) tumbled 7.2 percent after the chipmaker forecast revenue for the holiday quarter below analysts’ estimates, as it took a hit from the loss of chip sales to Apple Inc (AAPL.O).
That added to the S&P technology index’s .SPLRCT 0.4 percent loss and weighed on the Nasdaq.
The S&P banks index .SPXBK was up 0.8 percent, with Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) rising 1.7 percent and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) gaining 1.1 percent ahead of the Fed decision.
The sluggish moves came after U.S. stocks surged more than 2 percent on Wednesday after the midterm election results came in largely as expected, with Democrats winning control of the House of Representatives and President Donald Trump’s Republican party expanding its Senate majority.
“After that huge move up yesterday, I’d just be delighted to see if it holds on,” said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at QMA, a multi-asset manager in Newark, New Jersey.
The U.S. central bank, which is set to release its rate decision at 2:00 pm ET, is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but the statement that follows could lay the ground for a fourth rate hike in December as well as next year.
Yield on the 2-year Treasury notes US2YT=RR, which is most sensitive to traders’ view on Fed policy, edged higher. [US/]
“If you’ve higher bond yields and higher stock prices, that means that investors have become a little less fearful that the Fed will stop this economic expansion prematurely,” Keon said.
At 12:59 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 36.88 points, or 0.14 percent, at 26,217.18, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.62 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,809.27 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 32.24 points, or 0.43 percent, at 7,538.52.
The Dow was propped up by gains in Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) and 3M Co (MMM.N) and JPMorgan.
Wynn Resorts fell 12 percent after the casino operator missed third-quarter profit estimate and warned of a slowdown in the key Macau market. Shares of peers Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd (MLCO.O) and MGM Resorts International (MGM.N) also fell.
D.R. Horton dropped 5.4 percent and dragged on other homebuilders after it warned of rising home prices and higher mortgage rates weighing on demand. The PHLX Housing index .HGX fell 1.4 percent.
Perrigo Co (PRGO.N) plunged 14.7 percent after the generic drugmaker cut full-year earnings forecast on lowered expectations from its prescription pharmaceuticals.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.13-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.00-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 33 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 64 new lows.
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