The markets looked to the Fed today for guidance, but came away more confused than before. Some Fed watchers were concerned that the FOMC didn’t back off the “tough talk” and kept interest rate increases on the table for 2016. Other’s interpreted the FOMC statement as being more dovish and backing off the potential March increase at the very least. If indeed, they are a bit more dovish, what does that mean? Is the Fed more concerned than they have let on recently? The stock market did not like the apparent mixed messages.
For the day, after a lot of gyrations stocks ended on the negative side of the ledger again today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 222 points to close at 15,944. The S&P 500 was down 20 points to finish the day at 1882. Gold was up $6 to trade at $1,126 per ounce, while oil, finally breaking the correlation to stocks, was up $.53 to trade at $31.98 per barrel WTI.
Market participants rewarded earnings reports this week from 3M, J&J and Proctor &Gamble, but scoffed at lower guidance from Apple and Boeing this morning. So far, this earnings season is somewhat all over the place- some decent numbers, some bad numbers, some iffy guidance and some real confusion over whether shares are properly priced at the moment. The combo of a couple of core Dow stocks disappointing and a confusing FOMC statement was enough fuel for the bears to rule the day. It’s the bulls turn tomorrow. Let’s see if they step up.
Have a nice evening everyone.