Stocks mixed after Fed anouncement

Reuters

Reuters

The index, regarded as the broadest measure of the stock market, has hit a record high three days in a row.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,388. The average is on a six-day streak of new highs. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1 percent to 6,456.04.

Bob Evans Farms rose about 6 percent after packaged foods company Post Holdings said it would buy the frozen meals maker for about $1.5 billion.

Shares in the tech giant fell 1.16%, after the company said on Wednesday it was working to fix "connectivity" issues in the watch, which is created to link to mobile networks.

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Big technology stocks such as Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet came under pressure late in the session after Amazon said it would move to charging businesses in one-second increments for use of its servers.

Investors will also listen closely to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's views on inflation as they look for clues on the timing of the next rate hike.

"People are in wait-and-see mode".

INVESTOR INSIGHT: "The Fed's seemingly hawkish views on sustained lift-off in USA interest rates may be seen as a form of pressure for regional equities and could dampen prices today", said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. A separate report on business confidence showed optimism among chief executive officers reached its highest level since early 2014.

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"The Fed had investors on edge already". Inflation has remained below the Fed's 2-percent target rate, but recent data showed uptick in domestic consumer prices, which raised the chances of a December rate hike by more than 50 percent for the first time since July. But traders will be listening for word on whether the central bank is ready to begin shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds.

Any reduction in the Fed's balance sheet could make it harder for banks and investors to borrow certain Treasuries in the repurchase agreement market, making it more difficult and expensive to bet on or protect against rate increases.

The S&P has risen about 11.7 percent so far this year, helped by strong corporate profits and lingering optimism among some investors that Trump will cut taxes for businesses. Such a move by the Fed would likely push long-term interest rates up.

The S&P's financial .SPSY sector ended 0.6 percent higher as banks benefit from higher rates.

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South Korea plans to provide the assistance through the International Organization for Migration to help the refugees in Bangladesh , it also said.

Pfizer was among the Dow's top gainers, adding 1.5%, after the firm said it had filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, accusing it of anti-competitive behaviour aimed at defending its rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade. Wells Fargo & Co. rose 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $53.36. But other indexes in the region fell, with South Korea's Kospi slipping 0.2 percent to 2,407.39.

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