By Evan Sully and April Joyner
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes edged lower on Friday after a report that the Federal Reserve plans to cut interest rates by only a quarter-percentage point at the end of July.
The benchmark S&P 500 erased earlier marginal gains after the Wall Street Journal report https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-officials-signal-quarter-point-rate-cut-likely-at-july-meeting-11563559491. According to the report, while the U.S. central bank is not prepared to make a bigger 50-basis-point cut, it may make further rate cuts in the future given concerns about a decline in global economic growth and uncertainty about trade.
On Thursday, stocks had risen as comments from New York Fed President John Williams increased hopes of a bigger rate cut. Later that day, however, a New York Fed representative said that Williams' comments were not intended to telegraph any hints about upcoming Fed policy actions.
Futures market odds of a 50-basis-point cut at the Fed's July meeting soared to 71% late Thursday immediately after Williams' speech but fell to 23% on Friday, according to CME Group's Fedwatch tool.
"It appears that the Fed has communicated its message," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama. "They're basically trying to clarify their policy."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 5.85 points, or 0.02%, to 27,217.12, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 11.94 points, or 0.40%, to 2,983.17 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 43.66 points, or 0.53%, to 8,163.58.
Earlier, U.S. stocks had edged higher as strong results from Microsoft Corp
Second-quarter profits at S&P 500 companies are now estimated to rise 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data, in a reversal from earlier expectations of a small drop.
Kansas City Southern
Shares of American Express Co
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.15-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 72 new highs and 76 new lows.
(Reporting by Evan Sully and April Joyner; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
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Updated Date: Jul 20, 2019 02:07:09 IST