USA stocks slip after recent record-setting run

United States stocks finished mostly lower on Wednesday, as investors digested the latest rally amid growing expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a faster pace in the coming months.

On the currency front, the USA dollar is trading at 112.69 yen compared to the 113.31 yen it fetched at the close of NY trading on Wednesday.

FOMC minutes signal interest rates could rise faster than expected.

Separately on Wednesday, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said it will be appropriate for the US central bank to raise rates "perhaps relatively soon".

FED MINUTES: The Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent meeting.

"They want to see the data, they want to see more on inflation, and they would like more certainty about any fiscal policy changes", she said. The Fed "is trying to give itself maximum flexibility to move and the market is kind of stubbornly saying "You're not going in March".

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dipped 27 points, or 0.5%, to 5,833, but wasn't far from its own intraday trading record, weighed down by shares of Nvidia Corp.

The S&P 500 has not moved more than 1 percent in either direction since December 7. "You are coming off a really strong period for stocks so to have a little bit of a respite today is not unusual".

The Pacific Crest Reiterates "Hold" Rating for Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)
Chief Executive Elon Musk has said a number of times that TSLA will be producing 500,000 units of the auto by 2018. Baird reaffirmed a "buy" rating on shares of Tesla Motors in a research note on Wednesday, December 14th.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 34.72 points, or 0.2%, to end at 20,810.32.

On Wednesday, the Dow had a ninth consecutive close at an all-time high, the longest streak since 1987.

The Dow was buoyed by a 3.7% gain in DuPont shares. Shares of Dow Chemical jumped almost 5%.

European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-hunt-for-firm-direction-as-earnings-reports-pile-up-2017-02-23) bounced between gains and losses after a string of corporate updates and finished down 0.1%. Profits for S&P 500 companies are on track to rise 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the best quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

U.S. futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Wall Street, with firmer oil prices likely to lend some support.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.51-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 index showed 53 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 130 new highs and eight new lows. Revenue for Papa John's global wasn't as good as investors hoped, and its shares gave up $7.36, or 8.6 percent, to $78.27.

  • Ronnie Bowen