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Stocks - Wall Street Flat Ahead of Fed Decision 

Published 10/30/2019, 09:46 AM
Updated 10/30/2019, 09:50 AM
© Reuters.

Investing.com – Wall Street was flat on Wednesday as investors waited for a hotly-anticipated monetary policy decision from the Federal Reserve, with expectations of a rate cut undimmed by figures showing stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter.

The Dow was down 15 points or 0.1% by 9:45 AM ET (13:45 GMT), while the S&P 500 fell 3 points or 0.1% and the Nasdaq composite slipped 14 points or 0.2%.

The central bank is expected to cut rates for the third time this year, as the drawn-out U.S.-China trade war has taken a hit on economic growth. The Fed’s decision is expected at 2 PM ET (1800 GMT), with comments from Chair Jerome Powell taking center stage as investors look for guidance on how many more rate cuts to expect, if any.

"Certainly a rate cut is widely factored in," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Most people are looking for some sort of a hint that this will likely be it for a while."

Toymaker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) jumped 17.8% after upbeat earnings, while General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) gained 10% after it raised its cash flow forecast for the year.

Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) fell 8.5%, as revenue was hit by weak sales at Pizza Hut and KFC, while Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) slipped 0.8% after it canceled an update for its NBA game for this year.

Technology stocks were down, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) falling 0.3%, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) down 0.8% and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) declining 0.6%.

In commodities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 97.440 and gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,495.65 a troy ounce. Crude oil futures slipped 0.4% to $55.30 a barrel.

-Reuters contributed to this report

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