US Stocks end lower after Fed minutes

23-May-24   09:04 Hrs IST
US stock market finished session slightly in negative territory on Wednesday, 22 May 2024, as concerns that central bank may not cut interest rate soon after the minutes from the Federal Reserve?s May meeting raised concerns of persistent inflation. Market declines were led by energy, materials, utilities, consumer goods, and realty stocks.

At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index declined 201.95 points, or 0.51%, to 39,671.04. The S&P500 index dropped 14.40 points, or 0.27%, to 5,307.01. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index decreased by 31.08 points, or 0.18%, to 16,801.54.

ECONOMIC NEWS: US Fed Minutes Indicates Interest Rates To Remain Higher For Longer-With recent data not increasing confidence inflation is moving sustainably toward 2%, the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting suggest officials expect to maintain interest rates at current levels longer than previously thought. The minutes of the April 30-May 1 meeting, released Wednesday afternoon, said participants highlighted disappointing readings on inflation over the first quarter and indicators pointing to strong economic momentum. The participants subsequently assessed that it would take longer than previously anticipated for them to gain greater confidence inflation is moving sustainably toward 2%. With Fed officials repeatedly saying they need greater confidence inflation is slowing before they cut rates, the minutes said participants discussed maintaining the current restrictive policy stance for longer. While officials also discussed reducing policy restraint in the event of an unexpected weakening in labor market conditions, various participants also mentioned a willingness to raise rates further should risks to inflation materialize in a way that such an action became appropriate. Meanwhile, the participants reiterated the future path of interest rates would depend on incoming data, the evolving outlook, and the balance of risks.

US Existing Home Sales Extend Pullback In April- Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly saw further downside in the month of April, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. NAR said existing home sales slumped by 1.9% to an annual rate of 4.14 million in April after tumbling by 3.7% to a revised rate of 4.22 million in March. With the unexpected decrease, existing home sales continued to give back ground after surging to a one-year high of 4.38 million in February. Meanwhile, the report said total housing inventory surged to 1.21 million units at the end of April, up 9.0% from 1.11 million units in March and up 16.3% from 1.04 million units a year ago. The unsold inventory represents 3.5 months of supply at the current sales pace compared to 3.2 months in March and 3.0 months in April 2023. NAR also said the median existing home price spiked 5.7% to $407,600 in April from $385,800 in the same month last year.

US Crude Oil Inventories Unexpectedly Increase By 1.8 Million Barrels- A report released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed an unexpected rebound in U.S. crude oil inventories in the week ended May 17th. The EIA said crude oil inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels last week after falling by 2.5 million barrels in the previous week. Despite the monthly increase, U.S. crude oil inventories remain about 3% below the five-year average for this time of year at 458.8 million barrels. Distillate fuel inventories, which include heating oil and diesel, also crept up by 0.4 million last week but are about 7% below the five-year average for this time of year. Meanwhile, the report said gasoline inventories fell by 0.9 million barrels last week and are about 2% below the five-year average for this time of year.

Powered by Capital Market - Live News