- US stocks were lower Wednesday after the Federal Reserve maintained its support for the economy.
- Policymakers held the Fed’s benchmark interest rate near zero and maintained the pace of asset purchases of at least $120 billion per month.
- Google’s parent Alphabet hit a record intraday high after the tech stalwart crushed earnings.
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US stocks closed lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve maintained its support for the economy.
The Federal Open Market Committee concluded its two-day April meeting, announcing it would maintain its ultra-accommodative policy stance. The US central bank held the benchmark interest rate near zero and maintained the pace of asset purchases of at least $120 billion per month.
Chairman Jerome Powell also said that widespread vaccination and “strong policy support” have fueled a considerable pick-up in the pace of economic recovery.
“This new-found patience from the market, even in the face of resoundingly strong economic data and rising inflationary pressures is perhaps testament to the Fed’s credibility and the success of Powell’s communication,” said Seema Shah, Principal Global Investors chief strategist. “Investors appear to have accepted – for now, at least – that it is too soon for the Fed to consider tapering and a more persistent overshooting of the 2% inflation target is required before the central bank will even entertain discussion of rate hikes.
She added however, that at some point over the coming months as inflation picks up, the Fed will need to provide “incremental signals” on when the policy unwind will begin.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:
- S&P 500: 4,183.26, down 0.08%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 33,820.38, down 0.48% (164.55 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 14,051.03, down 0.28%
Google’s Alphabet Inc. hit a record intraday high after the company posted earnings that beat Wall Street expectations and showed a surge in ad sales. Meanwhile, Microsoft fell to a three-week low after its earnings disappointed. After the closing bell today, Facebook and Apple report earnings. Find a full calendar of this week’s earnings here.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is considering new guidance to curb growth projections made by listed SPAC, according to Reuters. The reported crackdown comes as the blank-check frenzy that started 2021 cools off. Analysts from JPMorgan today said that the SPAC boom has peaked, and the decline in SPACs since February has been driven by a slowing of retail money flow into stocks.
Ether hit a new all-time high today of $2,740.17, per CoinDesk data. While ether remains far behind bitcoin’s $1 trillion market value, some experts predict that it may not be long before the runner-up dethrones bitcoin as the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
Gold climbed as much as 0.1%, to $1,780.40 per ounce.