Stocks are marginally higher in late afternoon trading.
The Dow is up 15 points (0.0%).
The S&P 500 is up 5.9 points (+0.3%).
The Nasdaq is up 27 points (+0.6%).
Moments ago, the Federal Reserve wrapped up its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. And as expected, it stayed the course, tapering its monthly asset purchase program by another $US10 billion.
“Labour market conditions improved, with the unemployment rate declining further,” they said. “However, a range of labour market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labour resources.”
In other words, there’s some slack in the labour markets.
“The Committee sees the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labour market as nearly balanced and judges that the likelihood of inflation running persistently below 2 per cent has diminished somewhat,” they added.
In other words, it looks like inflation pressures are mounting.
Earlier today, we learned GDP grew at a 4.0% pace in Q2, reported the BEA. This was much stronger than the 3.0% expected by economists.
With the GDP report, we learned that personal consumption jumped 2.5%, beating expectations for a 1.9% gain.
Making things even better, Q1 GDP growth was revised up to -2.1% from -2.9%, and personal consumption was revised up to+1.2% from +1.0%.
The Dow was up by as much as 71 points in early trading following the GDP report.
Twitter is holding up the tech sector, surging 20% after its strong Q2 financial report on Tuesday afternoon.
The company’s Q2 financial results beat expectations across the board. Revenue surged to $US312 million, beating expectations for $US283.9 million. Monthly active users jumped to 271 million, beating expectations for 267 million. And amid all this, the company squeezed out an adjusted profit of $US0.02 per share. Analysts were looking for a $US0.01 loss.
In other news, ADP reported that U.S. companies added just 218,000 new private jobs in July, missing expectations for a gain of 230,000.
“The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market,” said Moody’s Analytics’ Mark Zandi. “At the current pace of job growth unemployment will quickly decline. Layoffs are still receding and hiring and job openings are picking up. If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016.”
The BLS’s official July jobs report comes out at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday. Economists are looking for 231,000 new nonfarm payrolls driven by 230,000 private payrolls.