THE FED HOLDS: Here's what you need to know

Stocks slumped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve held rates.

The major indices retraced some of their losses later in the afternoon, and the Dow managed to squeak into the green.

However, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq finished slightly in the red.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,959.23, +9.34, (+0.04%)
  • S&P 500: 2,389.70, -1.43, (-0.06%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,076.93, -18.59, (-0.31%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.323%, +0.027
  • WTI crude oil: $US47.47, +0.08, +0.17%

1. The Federal Reserve held rates and said the recent slowdown in growth is likely “transitory.” “The Fed’s reaction function has changed significantly from the last two years as it appears to be firmly on a policy normalization track and is not reacting to every piece of high frequency economic data,” Roiana Reid of Berenberg Capital Markets said in a note. “It would take a dramatic slowdown in the economy to derail the Fed’s normalization plans.”

2. ADP private payrolls increased more than expected. Private payrolls in the US increased by 177,000 in April, above expectations of 175,000, according to the HR-services provider ADP. “Job growth is off to a strong start in 2017,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

3. Republicans have moved closer than ever to passing their Obamacare overhaul. After the American Health Care Act looked close to dead at the start of the day, a flip by two key centrist holdouts on the bill appears to have its passage closer than ever.

4. Apple has dethroned Exxon as the world’s divided king. Apple is now the world’s largest payer of dividends after increasing its quarterly payout by 10.5% to 63 cents a share, according to data compiled by Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC.

5. Traders are loading up on bets against the world’s “most levered real estate developer.” Short interest in China Evergrande Group is now $US726 million, more than double the total at the start of the year, S3 Partners data show.

6. The governor of Puerto Rico said he would move to begin a form of bankruptcy for the island. Ricardo Rossello said he is requesting that the island’s financial oversight board initiate a Title III, a day after several major creditors sued his government over defaults on the island’s $US70 billion in bonds.

7. Etsy tanked after announcing a new CEO, flat earnings, and job cuts. Shares fell by as much as 17% in after-hours trading on Tuesday, and were down nearly 10% early on Wednesday after Etsy announced that it expects to eliminate about 80 jobs, or 8% of its workforce.


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