Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: Wall Street mixed before Fed

While you were sleeping: Wall Street mixed before Fed

Dec 19 (BusinessDesk) – The focus was squarely on the end of the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting and policymakers’ take on whether the strength of the world’s largest economy warrants an easing of stimulus.

The FOMC is scheduled to release a statement at 2pm in Washington, followed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s news conference at 2.30pm.

Opinions are widely divided on whether policymakers will announce a start to easing their monthly bond-buying today.

“We expect tapering in the first quarter of next year," Jim Russell, senior equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management, told Reuters. “Today's announcement will be whether they will signal that today or wait until Janet Yellen becomes Fed chief.”

Yellen will succeed Bernanke when his term expires at the end of January.

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.04 percent. Gains in shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron outweighed declines in shares of Microsoft and Boeing, lifting the Dow.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.09 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.51 percent.

There were more signs of strength in the US economy. Housing starts soared 22.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualised rate, the highest since February 2008, according to Commerce Department data.

“The economy seems to be picking up and there’s quite a lot of pent-up demand,” David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast in New York, told Bloomberg News. “Even if the Fed does start to taper, I think the housing market will prove resilient.”

Indeed, some said the Fed should begin easing its pace of bond-buying now.

"The last piece of the economic puzzle is falling into place and the expansion is assured. The last argument against tapering fell today, let's hope the Fed hears the news," Chris Rupkey chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York, told Reuters.

Meanwhile shares of FedEx, considered an economic bellwether, were flat at US$139.05 after the company posted net income that fell short of analysts’ estimates, even as it lifted the range of its full-year earnings forecast.

FedEx is “on track to be where we need to be by the end of 2016,” FedEx Chief Financial Officer Alan Graf said on a conference call with analysts and investors, Bloomberg reported. “We are managing very aggressively the tradedown in international.”

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with a 0.9 percent increase from the previous close. The UK’s FTSE 100 eked out a 0.1 percent gain, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 1 percent and Germany’s DAX added 1.1 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Health And Safety: Bill Now Sees Rules Relaxed For Small Businesses

Health and safety law reform sparked by the Pike River coalmine disaster has been reported back from the industrial relations select committee with weakened requirements on small businesses to appoint health and safety representatives and committees. More>>

ALSO:

Bearing Fruit: Annual Fruit Exports Hit $2 Billion For First Time

The value of fruit exported rose 20 percent (up $330 million) for the June 2015 year when compared with the year ended June 2014. Both higher prices and a greater quantity of exports (up 9.0 percent) contributed to the overall rise. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: NZ Dollar Jumps After RBNZ Trims OCR

The New Zealand dollar jumped more than half a US cent after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler cut the official cash rate by a quarter-point and said the currency needs to be lower, while dropping a reference to criteria that justified intervention. More>>

ALSO:

Drones: New 'World-Class' Framework For UAVs

The rules, which come into effect on 1 August, recognise the changing environment and create a world-class framework that accommodates ongoing development while still ensuring the safety of the public, property and other airspace users. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Reaches New Annual Record In June

New Zealand annual net migration rose to a new record in June as arrivals continued to be bolstered by Chinese and Indian students, while fewer locals departed for Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news