Wall Street mixed as investors await interest rate cut

By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Tuesday as investors awaited a widely expected Fed interest rate cut on Wednesday, while the impact of weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's biggest oil refinery faded. Equity markets took a hit on Monday after the attacks wiped out nearly half of Saudi Arabia's oil production, sending oil prices soaring and fuelling geopolitical tensions

Reuters September 18, 2019 02:12:35 IST
Wall Street mixed as investors await interest rate cut

Wall Street mixed as investors await interest rate cut

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Tuesday as investors awaited a widely expected Fed interest rate cut on Wednesday, while the impact of weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's biggest oil refinery faded.

Equity markets took a hit on Monday after the attacks wiped out nearly half of Saudi Arabia's oil production, sending oil prices soaring and fuelling geopolitical tensions.

But investors were calmed after U.S. President Donald Trump said he did not want war and Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia was close to restoring 70% of its lost production.

"People were thinking it would be months until we got that production back on line, and now it seems more like weeks. Putting that production back on line alleviates the risk of a higher disruption," said Keith Buchanan, a portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta.

The S&P energy index <.SPNY> dipped 1.6% after recording its strongest one-day surge since January on Monday. The so-called defensive consumer staples <.SPLRCS>, utilities <.SPLRCU> and real estate <.SPLRCR> posted some of the biggest gains among the 11 major S&P sectors.

Overall, six sectors rose and five fell.

The U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to lower interest rates by a quarter percentage point, the second rate reduction of the year.

Investors will also wait for clues on how far the U.S. monetary policy easing would go, given that Fed policymakers are deeply divided on whether more rate cuts are warranted.

"Its going to be difficult for them to signal an extremely dovish tone, given they are already half divided at this point," said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The S&P 500 bank index <.SPXBK>, which tends to underperform in a lower interest rate environment, fell 0.2%.

Economic reports were upbeat, as U.S. manufacturing output increased more than expected in August, while homebuilders' optimism grew unexpectedly brighter in September.

At 2:30 pm ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 0.06% at 27,060.17 points, while the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.01% to 2,998.34.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.09% to 8,160.91.

Among stocks, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc jumped 3.2% as it added a new steak dish to its menu in the United States for the first time in three years.

Home Depot Inc dropped 0.7% after Guggenheim downgraded the home improvement chain's shares to "neutral" from "buy".

Corning Inc tumbled 7.6% after the Gorilla glass maker cut its current-quarter display volume forecast.

Kraft Heinz Co tumbled 4.3% after the packaged food maker's second-largest investor, 3G Capital, sold over 25 million shares in open market at a discount.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.20-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 49 new highs and 22 new lows.

(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

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

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour
Business

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour

By Mike Spector and Jeffrey Dastin (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board has begun reviewing ballots from Amazon.com Inc's workers in Alabama, who have voted on whether to form a union, with momentum for future labour organizing at America's second-largest private employer hanging in the balance. Agents from the labour board began sifting through ballots sent to more than 5,800 workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama-based warehouse at 10 a.m

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push
News &amp; Analysis

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push

By Elizabeth Culliford NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spotify Inc said on Tuesday it has purchased Betty Labs, the company behind sports-focused social audio app Locker Room, to accelerate its move into live audio. New voice-based platforms, including invite-only social app Clubhouse, have seen rapid growth in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting
Business

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting

By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Tuesday as the Suez Canal reopened to traffic and the dollar rallied, while focus turned to an OPEC+ meeting this week, where analysts expect an extension to supply curbs to offset dim demand prospects. Brent crude fell $1.20, or 1.9%, at $63.78 a barrel by 1:12 p.m.