US Stocks Rise After 3-Day Loss But Gains Thin as Fed Stimulus Taper Looms
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihann this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, a sign for Wall Street is carved in the side of a building. Stocks are easing lower in early trading on Wall Street, pulling major indexes slightly below the record highs they reached last week.
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
NEW YORK, (Sputnik) - US stocks rose Wednesday for the first time in four days but gains were thin as the Federal Reserve confirmed market talk that it will likely begin in November or December the tapering of its stimulus that had juiced equity market gains for nearly 20 months now.
Wall Street’s three main equity indexes all finished in the positive, with the high-flying technology-laced Nasdaq Composite Index advancing the most to compensate for the brunt of the losses it took in the past three sessions. The slump had been sparked by fears of stagflation — a situation where economic expansion was flat against galloping inflation — amid a relentless spike in oil prices and an IMF caution of a possible slowdown in world growth.
"Despite above trend growth for 2022, stocks may struggle over the short-term on rising interest rate expectations from inflation fears, poor inventories for the holidays, and elevated energy prices," Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, said.
The much-anticipated tapering of the Federal Reserve’s long-running COVID-19 economic stimulus could start by November or December and conclude by the middle of next year, minutes from the latest monthly meeting of the central bank’s policy-making committee showed on Wednesday.
The Fed’s monthly spending of $120 billion on bonds and other asset purchases — totaling more than $2 trillion since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 — along with near zero US interest rates had helped Wall Street stock indexes hit record highs repeatedly despite the pandemic.
In Wednesday’s session, the Nasdaq index, comprising Big Tech names such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, closed up 106 points, or 0.7%, at 14,571. The tech barometer lost 1.3% over the previous three-day stretch.
The S&P 500, which groups the top 500 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, settled up 13 points, or 0.3%, at 4,364. The blue-chip indicator shed 1.1% in three previous days.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, comprising mostly industrial-based value stocks, finished Wednesday’s session about half a point down or virtually flat. Like the S&P 500, the Dow had dipped 1.1% over the previous three-day stretch.