Wall Street slightly lower ahead of Fed minutes | Reuters
By Yashaswini Swamynathan U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's minutes of its most recent meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
U.S. stocks were slightly lower on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's minutes of its most recent meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike. Policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have been hinting at the possibility of a rate hike at an upcoming meeting. But traders have priced in slim chances of a move until June despite strong economic data.The minutes, due at 2:00 p.m. ET, will likely give more clarity on the next hike. "It is no more a question of whether they will raise rates, but when they are going to do it," said Jim Davis, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group in Springfield, Illinois.The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday high on Wednesday, helped by a 3.8 percent rise in DuPont (DD.N) shares. Sources told Reuters that the company was set to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical (DOW.N).
Dow Chemical's stock was up 3.7 percent. At 11:09 a.m. ET, the Dow .DJI was down 4.57 points, or 0.02 percent, at 20,738.43, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 4.55 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,360.83 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 12.94 points, or 0.22 percent, at 5,853.01.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with energy .SPNY falling the most. Three sectors were little changed, while utilities .SPLRCU and materials .SPLRCM gained. Garmin (GRMN.O) jumped nearly 9 percent to $55 after the GPS-devices maker posted its fifth-straight quarterly profit and sales beat.Bristol-Myers (BMY.N) was the top stock on the S&P, with a 1.9 percent gain after billionaire investor Carl Icahn took a stake in the company.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,661 to 1,076. On the Nasdaq, 1,676 issues fell and 975 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed 36 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 new highs and 22 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D'Silva)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.