The stock market was quiet until the Fed’s statement crossed at 2 p.m. ET, when it first dipped and then rebounded to close little changed.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- Dow: 22,412.59, +41.79, (0.19%) S&P 500: 2,508.24, +1.59, (0.06%) Nasdaq: 6,456.04, -5.28, (-0.08%) 10-year yield: 2.277%, +0.033
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it would embark next month on its biggest post-recession policy shift since it first raised interest rates at the end of 2015. The central bank confirmed, as expected, that it would start trimming the $4.5 trillion balance sheet it built up after the Great Recession. The new dot plot is slightly more dovish in the long term. The median member again saw the Fed funds rate ending in a range between 1.25 and 1.5% at the end of 2017, suggesting one more hike this year. In the longer term, the median member expects rates to settle around 2.75%, down from 3%. The Fed raised its outlook for the US economy but cut inflation expectations. It now expects real GDP to grow 2.2% to 2.5% in 2017, up from June’s projection of 2.1% to 2.2%. Its expectation for the unemployment rate to fall to 4.2% to 4.3% this year is unchanged. It now says core personal consumption expenditures will come in at 1.5% to 1.6% in 2017, down from prior expectations of 1.6% to 1.7%. Apple fell 2% following disappointing reviews of the Apple Watch Series 3. Some marquee features of the watch, like voice calls and Siri, failed to work reliably because of its shoddy cell connection. Traders are making huge bets that the Toys R Us bankruptcy will crush Mattel, one of its main suppliers. Short interest on Mattel’s stock – a measure of wagers that share prices will drop – has climbed to 16% of shares outstanding, according to IHS Markit. It has more than tripled since April and now sits at the highest since February 2016.