S&P 500, Nasdaq open higher; Dow hit by Boeing, Home Depot

Fed remains committed to achieving 2% inflation target

Markets are braced for a busy few days as the USA and European central banks hold policy meetings that will provide fresh assessments of key economic indicators, as well as a general election in the United Kingdom that could prove to be a turning point for Brexit.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes opened slightly higher on Wednesday, with investors waiting for the Federal Reserve's decision on monetary policy, while losses in Boeing and Home pressured the Dow Jones index.

With the Fed expected to stand pat on rates, investors have been more focused on US-China trade relations, including new tariffs on Chinese goods that could go into effect on December 15.

As of writing, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 22.5 points, or 0.08% to 27,898.5 while S&P 500 futures dropped 1.38 points, or 0.04% to 3,134.62. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. The benchmark 10-year rate slid to 1.781% while the 2-year yield fell to 1.611%. Markets are also awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell's outlook on the economy when he holds a news conference later in the day. The Fed also signaled the bar for further rate cuts would be high moving forward.

Back in October, the Fed announced it would extend overnight funding operations through at least January and buy Treasury bills through next year's second quarter.

Wednesday's announcement follows the recent release of strong economic data. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the index rose 0.2% in November from the previous month. Inflation is at target on this measure, supporting the Fed's "on-hold" stance.

Wall Street also kept an eye on the trade front as there continues to be no clear indication that the USA and China will reach an agreement over trade that could stop or reduce the current level of tariffs.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the US plans to delay these additional tariffs on Beijing as both sides try to work out an agreement.

Some analysts are flagging concerns that existing tariffs imposed on Chinese imports are already starting to hurt the US economy, and could lead to a recession in the second half of 2020.



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