US stocks rise ahead of Fed decision

Shoaib Ur Rehman December 19, 2018

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose early Wednesday ahead of a Federal Reserve interest rate decision amid intensifying pressure from US President Donald Trump and a sharp pullback in the market.

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 23,788.90, up 0.5 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 percent to 2,559.77, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.1 percent to 6,830.51.

Market watchers still expect the Fed to hike interest rates later Wednesday but many experts think Fed Chair Jay Powell will acknowledge rising worry about global growth by signaling a pause in interest rate increases in 2019.

Trump has repeatedly trashed the Fed under Powell over prior rate hikes and called for a halt to the current tightening cycle.

The S&P 500 has fallen more than seven percent since the start of December amid worries over slowing growth and Trump’s trade wars.

Among individual companies, FedEx dived 9.4 percent after slashing its full-year profit forecast due in part to slowing global growth trends. The company has launched a voluntary employee buyout program to reduce costs.

General Electric surged 5.9 percent after Bloomberg reported the company filed a confidential statement for an initial public offering of its health care division, its latest effort to try to pivot from a lengthy slump.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018
 

 

 

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