On The Fly: Top stock stories for Wednesday
Stocks were largely on hold for another morning in advance of the Federal Reserve's policy announcement. While the Fed's plans were largely as previewed, the initial reaction of the major averages was to selloff a bit as bond yields rose. The averages regained what was lost in the brief pullback as Fed Chair Janet Yellen spoke to reporters following the policy decision. The Dow finished with a mild advance while the S&P eked out a small gain, but both were good enough to set new records. The Nasdaq was the worst performer of the day, as a number of big name tech stocks were weak. ECONOMIC EVENTS: The Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement went largely as expected, as the central bank opted not to raise rates yet but signaled a hike is still projected at its December meeting. Also as expected, the Fed said it will initiate its balance sheet normalization program in October as it begins to shrink its $4.5T securities portfolio. U.S. existing home sales dropped 1.7% to a 5.35M rate in August, which was weaker than expected, though some of that may be due to a hurricane effect. EIA inventory data showed a 4.6M barrel rise in crude oil stocks, versus the consensus forecast for a build-up of 3.86M barrels. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of Apple (AAPL) slid nearly 2% following reports of Apple Watch connectivity issues and somewhat disappointing reviews for the upcoming device. Meanwhile, Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang said checks suggest iPhone 8 preorder volume is below that seen for prior models, possibly because buyers are holding out for the delayed, premium iPhone X... FedEx (FDX) reported much lower than expected Q1 earnings and cut its fiscal year profit outlook due to the estimated full-year impacts of the TNT Express cyberattack. However, such a guidance cut had been largely telegraphed by analysts leading up to the call and shares advanced 2% following last night's report. Conversely, Adobe (ADBE) beat earnings expectations but its shares were weighed down by weaker than expected Experience Cloud bookings in Q3. Adobe slid over 4% on the heels of its report. Meanwhile, General Mills (GIS), which backed it full year earnings growth view but reported a miss for its first quarter, ended the trading day nearly 6% lower... Today was a busy day for IPOs. Shares of Best Inc. (BSTI), a company backed by Alibaba (BABA), jumped in their market debut, a day after the company slashed its expected pricing range. The South American Despegar.com (DESP), the biotech Celcuity (CELC), China-based Zai Lab (ZLAB) and the gene therapy micro-cap Krystal Biotech (KRYS) were the other initial public offerings this morning. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Copart (CPRT), which gained 4% after reporting Q4 earnings that were slightly better than expected. Also higher was Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), which jumped 52% after reporting that its Apollo Phase 3 trial of a rare-disease drug met its primary target and all of its secondary goals. Consequently, Ionis Pharmecuticals (IONS) was among the noteworthy losers, dropping about 9% after competitor Alnylam's positive news. Also lower was Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), which fell 16% after the retailer reported worse than expected earnings and cut its full-year profit view. INDEXES: The Dow rose 41.79, or 0.19%, to 22,412.59, the Nasdaq dropped 5.28, or 0.08%, to 6,456.04, and the S&P 500 slipped 1.59, or 0.06%, to 2,508.24.