US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Slip Ahead of Fed Decision

The Fed is expected to cut rates by 25-basis points
David Becker
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US stocks moved lower on Tuesday lead down by the Nasdaq. Sectors were mixed with technology shares the worst performers, while Energy bucked the trend. The Fed started its 2-day meeting on Tuesday and is expected to cut rates by 25-basis points. US consumer confidence declined in October, as trade concerns weighed on sentiment. Pending home sales rose by 1.5%, notching up a second consecutive month of gains.

Fed Will Like Cut Rates

The Fed begins its two-day meeting with a decision scheduled for 2 PM ET on Wednesday, followed by Powell’s press conference at 230 PM ET.  Another 25 basis point cut is widely expected. The Fed is likely to point to constructive negotiations with trade. The question for investors is what will happen next and what will Powell say in his press conference following the decision.

US Consumer Confidence Declines

US consumer confidence declined slightly in October according to The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index slipped to 125.9 this month from a September reading of 126.3. Expectations were for confidence to come in at 128. October’s print was the lowest since June, when confidence fell to 124.3.

Pending Home Sales Rise for Second Consecutive Month

Pending home sales, rose 1.5% in September month over month compared with August, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was the second straight month of gains. Sales were 3.9% higher than September 2018. Sales in the Northeast fell 0.4% for the month and were just 1.3% higher annually. In the Midwest, sales increased a much stronger 3.1% monthly and 2.7% annually. In the South, pending sales increased 2.6% monthly and were 5.7% higher annually. In the West sales declined 1.3% monthly but were 3.4% higher compared with September 2018.

General Motors Lower Profits

General Motors Co. lowered its full-year profit forecasts pointing to the strike which wiped out nearly all its free cash flow for the year. The move came even as the car company posted third-quarter results that easily surpassed analysts’ forecasts.

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