Wall Street Declines after Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday as minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting gave investors few new clues as to when U.S. interest rates may rise.  The S&P 500 snapped a four-day run of gains and a two-day streak of record closing highs.

Minutes of the U.S. central bank’s Oct. 28-29 meeting, where policymakers decided to finally end their bond-buying stimulus, indicated a debate among policymakers over the outlook for inflation and the economy.  “The market doesn’t really know how to react to this, whether it’s a hawkish or dovish statement, but the reality is I think it’s a truthful statement that we are in a very interesting spot with both headwinds and tailwinds facing this economy,” said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston.

Following the release of the minutes, U.S. short-term interest-rate futures traders were still betting on a first Fed rate hike by September next year.  Tech names were among the biggest drags on the market, with the Nasdaq underperforming both the Dow and S&P 500. Shares of Microsoft fell 1.1 percent to $48.22 and shares of Qualcomm eased 2.1 percent to $70.47. Qualcomm on Wednesday gave a more conservative five-year outlook than in the past.

WSJ

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