US stocks decline after Fed minutes

New York, Oct 14 (IANS) US stocks trimmed part of early losses to end mildly lower as Wall Street continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s minutes from its September meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday fell 45.26 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 18,098.94, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 lost 6.63 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 2,132.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 25.69 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 5,213.33.

According to the minutes released on Wednesday, policy makers generally agreed that the case for an increase in the policy rate had strengthened.

“The Committee agreed that, in determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, it would assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 per cent inflation,” the minutes said.

The market is largely anticipating the Fed to raise interest rates later this year. Traders have expected a more-than 65 percent rate hike in December, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

On the economic front, in the week ending October 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 246,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level, announced the US Labor Department on Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 249,250, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000.

In a separate report, the department said that in September prices for US imports increased 0.1 per cent following a 0.2 per cent decline the previous month, while US export prices rose 0.3 per cent after decreasing 0.8 per cent in August.

Meanwhile, oil prices were also in focus, which reversed early losses to settle higher on Thursday, giving some support to the stock market.



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