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Equities Slip Into Fed’s Interest Rate Decision as Energy Dents S&P 500 Sectors

Stocks were sipping lower on Wednesday morning as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision, where a 25 basis-point cut is widely expected to take place.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was roughly split between gainers and decliners, while the sectors on the Standard & Poor’s 500 were also mixed, with energy dropping 1.2% as oil prices retreated following a build of 5.7 million barrels in weekly crude stockpiles.

ConocoPhillips (COP) slid 2.2%, Valero Energy (VLO) was down 2.1% and Devon Energy (DVO) fell 2.6%. Utilities firmed 0.6% in the strongest gain among the S&P sectors.

The mixed day came ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s rate decision, with the probability of a 25 basis-point reduction standing at a near certainty of more than 99% on the CME Group’s FedWatch tool into the release that’s expected at 2 pm ET.

The view comes even after data that showed the US economy grew 1.9% in the advance estimate for the third quarter, ahead of the consensus for 1.7% on Econoday.

In company news, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was up 2.2% in the best rise on the Dow after saying late Tuesday that five new tests from the same bottle of its baby powder previously examined by the US Food and Drug Administration found no asbestos.

Criteo (CRTO) sank 15% after offering downbeat fourth-quarter guidance and mixed results for the most recent three month period. Mattel (MAT) surged 17% after the Barbie maker reported better-than-expected third-quarter results.

Crocs (CROX) rallied 12% as the shoemaker raised its full-year sales guidance and reported stronger third-quarter results than the Street expected.

In morning trading, the Nasdaq fell 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and the Dow were both about 0.1% lower.

This post was originally published on Food and Beverage Herald

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