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23-Aug2018

US markets end mostly lower on Wednesday

The US markets ended mostly lower on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 snapping a four-day gaining streak, as the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee's most recent meeting reaffirmed the central bank's hawkish bias. The Fed minutes indicated broad-based support for another interest-rate hike in September with many officials stating that as long as economic data remain strong, it would likely soon be appropriate to take another step in removing policy accommodation. However, they also suggested that any tightening will have to pause if the US trade tensions with partners continue to escalate. Besides, cautiousness prevailed in the markets as investors sought to gauge the impact of the legal and political issues surrounding President Donald Trump's administration.  Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort late Tuesday was found guilty on eight charges including tax fraud, and the president's former lawyer Michael Cohen said he violated campaign-finance law at President Donald Trump's direction.

On the economic front, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales in the US unexpectedly decreased in the month of July. NAR said existing home sales dropped by 0.7% to an annual rate of 5.34 million in July after falling by 0.6% to a rate of 5.38 million in June. The continued decrease in existing home sales came as a surprise to street, who had expected existing home sales to climb by 0.6%.

Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 88.69 points or 0.34 percent to 25733.60 and the S&P 500 declined 1.14 points or 0.04 percent to 2861.82, while Nasdaq was up by 29.92 points or 0.38 percent to 7889.10.


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