Stocks close lower after Fed hikes rates

Stocks close lower after Fed hikes rates

The U.S. central bank raised interest rates for the sixth time since the end of 2015, as had been widely expected, and it stuck to its prior forecast of three rate hikes in 2018. Trading was volatile after the Fed's statement and a subsequent press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell, with major indexes fluctuating between positive and break-even territory.

"That's a Fed that really feels good about the economy, not only this year but into next year", said Jim Paulsen, Chief Investment Strategist at The Leuthold Group in Minneapolis.

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index falling 0.18 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index climbing 0.03 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.01 percent.

Investors are also nervous by signs of a brewing global trade war after the Wall Street Journal reported that China was planning counter-measures against US trade tariffs.

Stocks have struggled this year while bond yield have moved higher.

Xi Jinping tells parliament China must not be complacent
Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang used his once-a-year news conference to say China was committed to global co-operation on trade. Modi said that Xi's re-election shows that he enjoys the support of the whole Chinese nation, the report said.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 32 points to 24,659.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures fell 0.25 points to 2,722.50. The currency was recently down 0.5% at $0.7681.

Shares of General Mills Inc plunged 8.9% after earnings and outlook of the company was below investor's expectations.

Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) fell 4.79 percent after the carrier cut its forecast for a key revenue metric. Other airlines also fell, with the Dow Jones Airlines index was down 3.4 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE for a 1.86-to-1 ratio and for a 2.01-to-1 ratio, on the Nasdaq.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.72 billion shares, compared to the 7.16 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

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