Markets Right Now: After a day of wobbling, indexes end down

Jonathan Corpina Photo: AP
Jonathan Corpina

March 21, 2018 03:51 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

4 p.m.

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Major U.S. stock indexes mostly gave up early gains and ended lower as investors absorbed the first Federal Reserve meeting led by new Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

After initially surging Wednesday following the Fed's decision to edge its main interest rate higher, large-company stock indexes gave up those gains, wobbled some more, then ended slightly lower.

Several big technology companies fared poorly. Apple lost 2.3 percent and Microsoft fell 0.7 percent.

Small-company stocks fared well, and energy companies rose sharply along with the price of crude oil.

The S&P 500 index edged down 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,711.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 44 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,682. The Nasdaq composite fell 19 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,345.

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2:15 p.m.

Stocks edged higher and bond yields rose after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as expected, and said the economy was continuing to improve.

The Fed said Wednesday it would raise its benchmark short-term interest rate by a quarter point and that it would continue to allow its bond portfolio to shrink. Both steps signal confidence in the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for mortgages and other loans, rose to 2.91 percent from 2.87 percent just before the Fed released its statement.

Stocks added slightly to their gains.

The S&P 500 index was up 20 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,736.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 229 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,955. The Nasdaq composite climbed 50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,413.

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11:45 a.m.

Stocks are rising on Wall Street as investors wait for news on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is widely expected to raise rates Wednesday, and investors will be watching closely for clues about how many more increases the central bank may make this year.

Energy companies are rising along with the price of oil and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies are climbing.

Homebuilders are up following a report that sales increased in February. Beazer Homes jumped 3.8 percent.

Cereal maker General Mills plunged 8.4 percent after cutting its profit forecast.

The S&P 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,728.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 124 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,850. The Nasdaq composite climbed 26 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,390.

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9:35 a.m.

Stocks are mixed in early trading Wall Street, as declines in technology companies and makers of consumer products offset gains elsewhere in the market.

Facebook fell another 2.6 percent early Wednesday, extending its slump into a third day as the company faces searing criticism for its handling of user data.

Food maker General Mills dropped 8 percent after lowering its profit forecast and saying rising costs hurt its business. Nordstrom fell 2.8 percent after the company ended talks with Nordstrom family members about a possible sale.

The S&P 500 index slipped 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,714.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,739. The Nasdaq composite fell 18 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,346.

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(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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