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fed: US stocks end at records after Fed tapering decision


NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks finished at fresh records Wednesday following a heavily-telegraphed Federal Reserve decision to scale back its stimulus program. For the fourth straight day, all three major indices ended at all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.3 percent to 36,157.58. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to finish at 4,660.57, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped one percent to 15,811.58. The Fed said it will begin to slow its stimulus bond purchases this month as it pointed to a solid recovery in the US economy. Fed Chief Jerome Powell stuck to his view that current higher-than-expected inflation levels will come down in the second half of 2022, defending the patient stance despite inflation trends that have prompted questions about whether the US central bank has misread the situation. Major indices were in negative territory much of the day, but pushed upward after the Fed announcement. “It’s natural to get nervous about a potential surprise,” Art Hogan, chief strategist at National Securities said of the early trading. But, “You got exactly what you expected,” he said. Earlier, payroll service firm ADP said that private businesses hired 571,000 workers last month, a better-than-expected figure that comes ahead of Friday’s important government jobs data for October. Among individual companies, Deere & Company shed 3.5 percent after the United Auto Workers union voted against the latest contract offer, extending a strike that began three weeks ago. Bed Bath & Beyond surged 15.2 percent as it announced a collaboration with Kroger to market products on each other’s e-commerce websites. The grocery chain jumped 5.5 percent. Bed Bath & Beyond also said it would complete a $1 billion share repurchase plan two years ahead of schedule. Hertz fell 9.3 percent to $31.80 as it announced that some shareholders were selling 37.1 million shares, and the company plans to repurchase up to $500 million worth. The car rental company, which reorganized in US bankruptcy court also said it plans to apply to list on the Nasdaq.


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