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Mid-Afternoon Market Update: U.S. Stocks Turn Negative After Fed Hikes Interest Rates; Dow Tumbles Over 300 Points


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Toward the end of trading Wednesday, the Dow traded down 1.31 percent to 23,366.24 while the NASDAQ declined 1.81 percent to 6,660.86. The S&P also fell, dropping 1.24 percent to 2,514.68.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Wednesday afternoon, the financial shares climbed 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Mercantil Bank Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTB ) up 9 percent, and Gamco Investors Inc (NYSE: GBL ) up 5 percent.

In trading on Wednesday, consumer staples shares rose by just 0.2 percent.

Top Headline

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve delivered the interest rate hike the markets were expecting. The Fed announced it will be upping the fed funds target rate by 0.25 percent to a range of 2.25-2.50 percent.

The Fed also lowered its target projections for future interest rates. The Fed lowered its 2019 fed funds rate projection from 3.1 percent to 2.9 percent and its 2020 and 2021 projections from 3.4 percent to 3.1 percent. The Fed also lowered its 2018 U.S. GDP growth projection from 3.1 percent to 3 percent and its 2019 growth projection from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent.

Equities Trading UP

Adial Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADIL ) shares got a boost, shooting up 32 percent to $3.8999 after the company announced an amendment to its license agreement with the University of Virgia Licensing & Ventures Group. The company must commence Phase 3 trial of AD04 for AUD in 2019.

Shares of Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO ) shot up 18 percent to $23.57 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its first quarter.

ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE: ABM ) shares were also up, gaining 16 percent to $31.32. ABM posted Q4 adjusted earnings of $0.58 per share on sales of $1.65 billion.

Equities Trading DOWN

Surface Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: SURF ) shares dropped 44 percent to $4.12 after the company late Tuesday reported a 'significant' reduction in investment in the SRF231 program.

Shares of NCI Building Systems, Inc. (NYSE: NCS ) were down 10 percent to $8.73 following Q4 results.

FTS International, Inc. (NYSE: FTSI ) was down, falling around 14 percent to $7.11. Credit Suisse downgraded FTS International from Outperform to Neutral and lowered the price target from $15 to $8.

Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded up 1.56 percent to $46.96 while gold traded down 0.35 percent to $1,258.70.

Silver traded up 0.03 percent Wednesday to $14.705, while copper rose 0.88 percent to $2.688.

Eurozone

European shares closed higher today. The eurozone's STOXX 600 climbed 0.31 percent, the Spanish Ibex Index surged 0.78 percent, while Italy's FTSE MIB Index jumped 1.59 percent. Meanwhile the German DAX gained 0.24 percent, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.49 percent while U.K. shares rose 0.96 percent.

Economics

The MBA's index of mortgage application activity for the latest week is schedule for release at 7:00 a.m. ET.

The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.8 billion in the third quarter, versus a revised $101.2 billion in the second quarter.

Existing home sales rose 1.9 percent at an annual rate of 5.32 million for November. However, economists were expecting a 5.15 million rate.

Domestic crude supplies declined 497,000 barrels for the week ended December 14, the Energy Information Administration reported. However, analysts projected a drop of 2.48 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles gained 1.77 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles slipped 4.24 million barrels last week.

The Fed announced it will be upping the fed funds target rate by 0.25 percent to a range of 2.25-2.50 percent.

© 2018 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
Referenced Symbols: ABM , GBL , NCS , WGO , SURF




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