FED HIKES, STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know

Stocks closed little changed on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate as investors had expected.

However, Treasurys rallied, sending bond yields lower even after the rate hike, and hinting that bond traders didn’t expect inflation to take off.

Oil prices slumped after the Energy Information Administration reported a smaller-than-expected weekly drop in inventories and higher gasoline production.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,360.77, +32.30, (0.15%)
  • S&P 500: 2,435.99, -4.36, (-0.18%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,184.97, -35.40, (-0.57%)
  • 10-year yield: 2.138%, -0.069
  • WTI crude oil: $US44.73, -$US1.73, (-3.7%)
  1. The Federal Reserve raised the target range of the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 1% to 1.25%. It maintained its forecast for one more hike this year, and acknowledged that “inflation has declined recently.”
  2. The Fed raised its growth outlook for the US economy. It now expects real GDP to rise 2.1% to 2.2% in 2017, compared to its previous outlook of 2.0% to 2.2%. Moreover, it expects the unemployment rate to fall to 4.2 to 4.3% this year, down from its previous projection of 4.5% to 4.6%.
  3. To unwind its balance sheet, up to $US6 billion in Treasurys and $US4 billion in mortgage-backed securities will be allowed to roll off without reinvestment monthly. These caps will be raised every three months until they hit $US30 billion for Treasurys and $US20 billion for mortgage-backed securities. There was no indication of the start.
  4. The consumer price index (CPI) fell more than expected in May, led by a decline in energy costs. The gauge of consumer-price changes dropped by 0.1%, missing the forecast for a flat reading, and it rose by 1.9% year-on-year (2.2% expected.)
  5. Retail sales fell in May by the most in 16 months amid lower spending on cars. Sales fell 0.3% after an unrevised 0.4% increase in April.


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