U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds were stuck in languid trading Wednesday as investors waited on the latest comments from the Federal Reserve on its monetary policy and hints of progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China.
On Wednesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was down 0.2%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was 0.7% lower and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) declined 0.5%.
Many anticipated the Fed to pause interest rate hikes this year and outline a plan to wind down its balance-sheet runoff program as a way to bolster confidence in the U.S. economy and markets, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“With the Fed, investors will be focusing on the growth outlook for 2019. The market is definitely laser-focused on the Fed for the next few hours,” Eric Marshall, portfolio manager at Hodges Funds, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, optimism over the U.S.-China trade talks have helped buoy markets on hopes that an agreement could stabilize stagnant economic growth around the world. Negotiators on both sides of the table have scheduled new trade talks to be held in Beijing and Washington next week with a target finalized deal by late April.