Stocks barely budged on Wednesday.
But all three major indices closed slightly in the red.
First up, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 20,991.94, -37.53, (-0.18%)
- S&P 500: 2,407.84, -5.07, (-0.20%)
- Nasdaq: 6,182.81, -20.38, (-0.33%)
- US 10-year yield: 2.199%, -0.016
- WTI crude oil: $US48.12, -1.54, -3.10%
1. Most of America is seeing modest economic growth, the Fed says in the latest Beige Book. Employers in several districts brought up challenges with finding qualified workers for open positions. Boston staffing firms said vacancies for system administrators, network engineers, and medical assistants were particularly hard to fill.
2. Homebuyers in the market this spring are being slammed by a “double whammy.” US pending home sales unexpectedly slumped in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. Pending sales of condos, co-ops, and single-family homes fell by 1.3%, worse than the 0.5% drop expected.
3. One poll shows just how difficult it is for Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare. Overall, support for the American Health Care Act is low, with just 31% of those surveyed holding a favourable view of the bill and 55% of respondents viewing it unfavorably. On the other hand, 49% of those surveyed had a favourable view of Obamacare, compared with 42% holding an unfavorable view.
4. Oil tumbled amid fresh concerns that there’s too much in the world. WTI crude was down by 1.5% and Brent crude was down by 1.7% in the mid-afternoon after an increase in Libyan production sparked fresh concerns over a global supply glut despite the extension of OPEC-let output cuts.
5. Gary Cohn reportedly wants Janet Yellen’s job. Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs chief operating officer who is now the top economic adviser to President Donald Trump, reportedly has his eyes set on the top job at the Federal Reserve.
6. China’s offshore yuan jumped to its strongest level since October. The currency was up by 1.0% at 6.7526 per US dollar.
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