Financial markets inched lower in early trading Wednesday as investors sifted through a batch of mixed corporate earnings and awaited the Federal Reserve's latest policy update and outlook on the economy.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped one point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,940 as of
FED SPEAKS: The Fed's policymaking committee caps a two-day meeting Wednesday afternoon with a statement outlining the central bank's plans and updating its economic forecasts. Fed officials were widely expected to approve a fifth cut in the Fed's monthly bond purchases because the job market has steadily strengthened. No clear signal is expected on when the Fed will start raising short-term interest rates from record lows.
INFLATION IMPACT? Some market watchers have speculated that a sharp rise in consumer prices last month might compel the Fed to ease back faster on its economic stimulus efforts. But
"You're going to need more data than that to take what has been an ultra-accomodative Fed and make them a little less supportive," he said.
SECTOR VIEW: Seven out of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 were in the red, with telecommunications stocks down the most. Utilities led the gainers.
UNAPPETIZING FORECAST: Food maker
REST UNEASY: Shares in
OVERSEAS: World stocks were muted.
BONDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.64 percent from 2.65 late Tuesday.
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