Dow, Nasdaq weighed down by Microsoft, Amgen; all eyes on Fed

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Shivani Kumaresan (Reuters) - The Dow and Nasdaq indexes fell on Wednesday as Amgen and Microsoft weighed, while investors focused on a Federal Reserve meeting for updates on monetary policy and waited for another batch of earnings from big technology firms. The U.S. central bank's policy statement is expected to largely follow the mold established in December, when the Fed said it would not change monetary policy until there was 'substantial further progress' in meeting its maximum employment and 2% inflation goals.

Reuters April 29, 2021 00:07:21 IST
Dow, Nasdaq weighed down by Microsoft, Amgen; all eyes on Fed

Dow Nasdaq weighed down by Microsoft Amgen all eyes on Fed

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Shivani Kumaresan

(Reuters) - The Dow and Nasdaq indexes fell on Wednesday as Amgen and Microsoft weighed, while investors focused on a Federal Reserve meeting for updates on monetary policy and waited for another batch of earnings from big technology firms.

The U.S. central bank's policy statement is expected to largely follow the mold established in December, when the Fed said it would not change monetary policy until there was "substantial further progress" in meeting its maximum employment and 2% inflation goals. The statement is due at 2 p.m. EDT.

"Investors are obviously looking for a continuation of the policy, which is very accommodative," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC, New Jersey.

"They don't want to hear, 'We are going to raise rates'. If something goes wrong, investors want to know the Fed will be there."

The S&P 500 touched an all-time high earlier in the session, powered by shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc, which jumped 3.7% after reporting a record profit for the second consecutive quarter and announcing a $50 billion share buyback.

Both Alphabet and the S&P 500 communication services sector, which houses the company, also hit record highs.

Market participants are now prepping for results of Apple Inc and Facebook Inc after markets close.

Facebook Inc is expected to report a rise in first-quarter revenue, while Apple Inc is expected to post a more than 32% jump in second-quarter revenue. Shares of Facebook rose 1.4%, while Apple dipped 0.2%.

At 12:08 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 117.71 points, or 0.35%, at 33,867.22, the S&P 500 was up 1.79 points, or 0.04%, at 4,188.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 32.39 points, or 0.23%, at 14,057.83.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Monday completed a full recovery from its 11% correction that began in February, largely supported by a rise in mega-cap stocks and ebbing inflation fears.

Microsoft Corp met quarterly sales expectations and beat profit estimates, but its shares fell 3.3% and pressured the Nasdaq due to skepticism about one-off benefits included in the results and high hopes after a year-long rally.

Biotech Amgen Inc's 7.5% decline weighed on the Dow after it said its first-quarter sales and profit fell due to a 7% drop in its net drug prices and a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing Co fell 3.4% after posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and pausing 737 MAX deliveries over an electrical issue that has partly re-grounded the fleet.

Overall earnings for S&P 500 companies in the first quarter are expected to jump 39.2% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a sweeping $1.8 trillion package for families and education in his first joint speech to Congress, senior White House officials say.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.24-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 71 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 87 new highs and 18 new lows.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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