Stocks fall slightly as investors await Fed decision

U.S. stocks dipped on Wednesday morning as investors readied for Wednesday’s highly anticipated Federal Reserve decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 142 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 lost 0.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was down 0.3%.

Energy stocks struggled on Wednesday morning, with Occidental Petroleum falling 2%. Etsy and Eli Lilly rose more than 3% each to lead the S&P 500. Boeing was one of the worst performers in the Dow, falling about 1.7%.

The Fed will conclude its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and the public will hear from central bank Chairman Jerome Powell at a 2:30 p.m. ET news conference.

The Fed is grappling with the highest inflation level in 39 years and the central bank is widely expected to announce an acceleration of the tapering of its bond-buying program, which was put in place during the pandemic to prop up the economy.

“Investors remain on a buyers strike in front of the FOMC meeting,” Fundstrat’s Tom Lee wrote in a note. “Tapering is not the ‘hawkish pivot’ that ends bull markets, but it is a hawkish pivot relative to the massive easing since the pandemic started. So we think this buyers strike in front of FOMC could turn into a ‘buy the event.’”

This sets the stage for a dramatic policy shift that will clear the way for a first interest rate hike next year.

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Source: CNBC