Stocks seek direction ahead of Fed rate decision




 

Stocks opened mixed Wednesday as investors await the latest interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is expected to hold its fed funds rate in a range between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent at the conclusion of its two-day meeting. The central bank lowered its benchmark rate three times since July to try to cushion the U.S. economy against a slowdown in global growth.

Boeing was weaker after Federal Aviation Administration head Steve Dickson said in a CNBC interview that the 737 Max will remain grounded into 2020.

Peloton shares were under pressure for a second day after the research firm Citron Research, which is run by the short-seller Andrew Left, said shares would fall 85 percent over the next year to $5 apiece.

Looking at earnings, GameStop plunged after weak demand for video-game consoles and software led to a 23.2 percent drop in comparable-store sales. The video-game retailer posted a loss of $415.3 million, or 49 cents a share, versus expectations for an 11 cent gain.

American Eagle Outfitters fell after forecasting its fourth-quarter profit below Wall Street expectations. The retailer reported better-than-expected earnings and sales.

On the commodities front, gold gained 0.3 percent to $1,472 an ounce and West Texas Intermediate crude oil was little changed near $59.15 a barrel.

U.S. Treasurys were flat with the yield on the 10-year note holding at 1.825 percent.

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Markets in Asia were mostly higher following reports President Trump's advisers were preparing for a possible delay in a weekend tariff hike on Chinese goods.

In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.8 percent and Japan's Nikkei shed less than 0.1 percent.

London's FTSE was up less than 0.1 percent ahead of Britain's parliamentary election Thursday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the election two years before it was required in hopes of gaining a majority in the House of Commons to support his plan to leave the European Union by the end of January whether or not the two sides have negotiated details of their future relations.

Germany's DAX added 0.7 percent and France's CAC gained 0.2 percent.

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On Thursday, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House announced a revised trade deal with Mexico and Canada. The deal would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and would offer more provisions for U.S. workers.

FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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