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US close: Markets higher ahead of Fed meeting

By Josh White

Date: Monday 18 Mar 2019

US close: Markets higher ahead of Fed meeting

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks kept their heads above water on Monday, despite the ongoing drag from Boeing, and as investors looked to the Federal Reserve policy announcement in the coming week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.25% at 25,914.10, the S&P 500 added 0.37% to 2,832.94, and the Nasdaq 100 was ahead 0.26% at 7,326.28.

\"Ahead of the US open, gold prices are a tad higher for a second consecutive session, as the \'big\' dollar slipped after recent toned-down US data increased chances that the Fed will signal a \'dovish\' policy stance this week,\" said James Hughes, chief market analyst at Axitrader, before the opening bell.

Additionally, analysts analysts at UniCredit Research pointed out how the so-called overnight-index-swap forward curve was already pricing-in just over one 25 basis point interest rate cut for over the next two years, as they forecast three cuts.

Not at all analysts were of the same opinion, with those at Barclays Research anticipating one hike over that same time span, but expectations for policy had been easing of late.

In economic news, the National Association of Homebuilders\' Housing Market Index for February was steady at the previous month\'s level of 62.0, just shy of consensus forecasts for a reading of 63.0.

On the corporate front, Boeing shares were down 1.77% after the Wall Street Journal report that federal prosecutors and officials from the Department of Transportation are investigating the development of the company\'s 737 MAX jetliners.

Elsewhere, deal news was in focus as US financial services technology company FIS agreed to buy payments processor Worldpay in a $43bn deal.

Under the terms of the transaction, Worldpay shareholders will be entitled to receive 0.9287 shares and $11 in cash for each of their shares.

FIS shareholders will own around 53% of the combined company, while Worldpay shareholders will own the rest.

Shares in Worldpay were up 9.96% in New York trading.

Dermira shares rocketed 84.36% after the company said its new eczema treatment passed a key study in adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

Overstock was down 5.68% as the online retailer released its fourth-quarter results.

Ride-hailing services outfit Lyft was also in the news, after the company unveiled plans for an initial public offering that might see it valued at $20bn.


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