Wall Street ends mostly lower, despite dovish Fed, financials hurting on lower yields

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  • S&P 500 SPX, -0.29% ended 0.3% lower near 2,824.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.55% shed more than 140 points, or 0.5%, to finish near 25,746.
  • The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.07% managed a gain, ending 0.1% higher near 7,729. 

Stocks on Wall Street ended mostly lower Wednesday, following a negative start for the session. One of the biggest weights at the start of the day came with a bearish opening gap in the shares of FedEx Corp. FDX that had been as low as 168.70 at one point, falling from yesterday’s close of 181.49 – The stock is often viewed as a barometer of global growth prospects – (The logistics company missed Wall Street forecasts for its fiscal third quarter).

Nevertheless, it was trade-war angst, global growth concerns and what the Fed might mean for stocks going forward from today’s outcome. To the contrary of the starting bearish performances, the FOMC was a dovish outcome which lifted the benchmarks from their lows of the day. The Federal Reserve policy signalled it would deliver no rate increases this year and perhaps only one next year. However, financial stocks were feeling the pinch, with a drop in yields, a negative for lenders

Key notes from the Fed:

Federal Reserve cuts 2019 GDP forecast to 2.1% vs 2.3% in December.

The latest median Federal Reserve forecasts

  • 2019 GDP2.1%  vs 2.3% in Dec.
  • 2020 GDP 1.9% vs 2.0% in Dec.
  • 2021 GDP 1.8% vs 1.8% in Dec.

From the statement

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement – March 20 – full text

  • On a 12-month basis, overall inflation has declined, largely as a result of lower energy prices; inflation for items other than food and energy remains near 2 percent.
  • On balance, market-based measures of inflation compensation have remained low in recent months, and survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little change.
  • The Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent.
  • The Committee continues to view sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective as the most likely outcomes. 
  • In light of global economic and financial developments and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will be patient as it determines what future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate to support these outcomes.

DJIA levels

The DJIA is chipping into last week’s winning streak and has been unable to sustain territory above the 26000 level having scored a 26109 yesterday. A continuation to the downside will open a move to 25186 being the 23.6% retracement of the late Dec swing lows to late Feb swing highs. 

  • Support levels: 25629 25445 24962
  • Resistance levels: 26121 26378 26829
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