Dow Inches Higher as Fed Keeps Rates Steady; Big Tech in Political Hot Seat

This post was originally published on this site – The Dow inched higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signaled ongoing support for the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.48%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.34% and the S&P 500 added 1.13%.

The Fed kept its benchmark rate near zero and suggested rates would remain in this range “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.” 

The Fed’s decision comes investors digested a slew of mixed earnings from corporates.

Heavyweight Dow component Boeing (NYSE:BA) falling 2.6% after reporting mixed quarterly results. The aircraft maker reported wider-than-expected quarterly losses and warned it would trim production amid weakness in the aviation sector.

Shopify Inc (NYSE:SHOP) fared better, rallying 7% as the e-commerce company delivered blowout second-quarter results, with earnings and revenue topping analysts’ consensus estimates.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) climbed 4% as it raised its earnings outlook for the year after reporting a smaller-than-expected loss in the fiscal third-quarter.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as its performance was hurt by weakness in its jet-engine business, sending its shares more than 3% lower.  

Tech held onto gains as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft and Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) provided testimony in a congressional hearing on antitrust in Big Tech. The sector was also helped by surge in chip stocks, led by a 12.6% pop in Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) as the chipmaker raised its revenue guidance and beat quarterly earnings estimates.   

Monetary policy is set to grip investor attention later in the session as the Fed readies its policy decision at 14:00 ET (18:00 GMT). With many expecting that the Fed will stand pat on rates, chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks will take on added importance.

Energy, meanwhile, was helped by a rise in oil prices following data showing U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly declined by more than 10 million barrels last week.

In other news, Eastman Kodak Co (NYSE:KODK) jumped 462% after the company’s received a federal cash injection to produce ingredients needed for generic drugs as President Donald Trump further efforts to lower drug prices.