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Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends slightly lower after Fed minutes

Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends slightly lower after Fed minutes

Wall Street edged lower on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed broad agreement on the need to raise borrowing costs further.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 92 points, or 0.36%, to 25,707, the S&P 500 lost one point to 2,809 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped three points, or 0.04%, to 7,643.

The S&P 500 oscillated furiously after the release of the Fed's September meeting minutes at 2 pm. Policymakers showed agreement on the September hike in defiance of sharp criticism from US President Donald Trump. There was general anticipation that further gradual increases would be consistent with the economic expansion, labour market strength, and firm inflation that most forecast.

Of the S&P's 11 major sectors, only four ended in positive territory. Financials was the biggest gainer, closing 0.9% higher. Material sector was the biggest loser, with an 0.8% drop.

Disappointing housing data dragged down stocks such as Home Depot Inc and homebuilders. Home Depot shares fell 4.3% while the PHLX Housing index lost 1.87%.

Among the brighter spots was Netflix, which rose 5.3%, after reporting a surge in subscription numbers.

United Airlines Inc shares rose 5.95% after a solid third-quarter profit and again raising its 2018 outlook.

Investors soured on shares of International Business Machines Corp after the company announced a revenue miss following the close on Tuesday. Shares fell 7.63%.

Auto parts retailers also declined, with AutoZone down 7.6%. Advance Auto Parts was down 5.22%. Tesla fell 1.7%, following an SEC filling by the company saying it plans to issue $20 million in stocks that will be bought by the company’s founder, Elon Musk.

In Asia, shares were broadly lower on Thursday in morning session, as the Fed report hinted at more rate hikes ahead.

In Greater China, the Shanghai composite fell by 1.53%, while the Shenzhen composite declined 1.9%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also traded slightly lower.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was lower by 0.37% in morning trade, while the Topix index slipped 0.19%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi fell by 0.28%, while Australia’s ASX 200 traded lower by 0.17%.


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