The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and eventually ended the trading session with mixed results today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ((DJIA) declined 0.39%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.26%. The NASDAQ and Russell 2000 gained 0.10% and 0.57%, respectively.
The Federal Reserve maintained its policy on interest rates due to the recent global and economic developments such as the slowdown in China’s economy. The central bank reaffirmed the 0%-0.25% target range for the federal funds rate.
In a statement, Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen said reiterated their position that it would be appropriate to increase the federal funds rate when it “sees further improvement in the labor market and feels reasonably confident that the inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term.”
In an interview with Bloomberg, Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co commented that investors will now start focusing on the problems that caused the correction in August after the Federal Reserve made its decision regarding the interest rates.
Maley said those problems included the “weakness in China and other emerging markets and the rough times on the earnings front.”
Some market observers suggested that the decision of the Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rate intensified concerns regarding the strength of the US economy amid worries about the slowing Chinese economy. The Federal Reserve predicted that the US GDP will grow at a moderate pace.
Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management, said, “Yellen wants to make sure that the U.S. remains the driver of global economic health. The U.S. has to be the engine for pulling the globe out of slow growth.”
The U.S. labor market continues to strengthen and the country’s unemployment rate is 5.1%, the lowest in seven years. The housing market is also rebounding, an indication that the economy is strong. However, the inflation rate is still below the target of the policy makers.
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 16, 675.01 (-0.39%)
- S&P 500- 1,990.19 (-0.26%)
- NASDAQ- 4,893.95 (+0.10%)
- Russell 2000- 1,181.91 (+0.57%)
- EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,255.79 (+0.12%)
- FTSE 100 Index- 6,186.99 (-0.68%)
- Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 10,229.58 (+0.02%)
- Nikkei 225- 18,432.27 (+1.43%)
- Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 21,854.63 (-0.51%)
- Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,237.00 (-2.18%)
Stocks in Focus
The stock price of Cablevision Systems climbed almost 14% to $32.50 per share. The company announced its agreement to be acquired by Altice for $34.90 per share or $17.7 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
Rite Aid Corporation plummeted more than 10% to $7.67 per share. The company reported second-quarter earnings of $0.02 per share, below the $0.04 per share expected by Wall Street analysts. Its revenue was $7.7 billion, higher than the $7.57 billion consensus estimate.
The stock value of Fitbit increased more than 7% to $39.95 per share. The company gained more than 34% in stock value year-to-date. Pacific Crest analyst Brian Erickson noted that Fitbit dominates wearable fitness device market following the decision of Target to buy Fitbit products for its employees. According to Erickson, Fitbit is “best positioned to capitalize in similar deals going forward,” could drive its stock price higher and expand its multiples.