Stocks slip with tech, energy; dollar hits 2-week highs (AAPL)

Stocks slip with tech, energy; dollar hits 2-week highs (AAPL)

Stocks slip with tech, energy; dollar hits 2-week highs (AAPL)

The drop off came amid the Federal Reserve's long-anticipated second interest rate hike of the year.

The Fed officials agreed on a plan to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in a "gradual" and "predictable" manner.

"It's a Fed day and the markets will likely not blink an eye as the FOMC raises rates by 25 basis points", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in NY.

For the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 21,359.90 for a loss of 14.66 points or 0.07%.

US stocks were flat in late morning trade on Wednesday as a set of weak economic data weighed on bank shares, while investors waited for the Federal Reserve to pull the trigger on a second interest rate hike this year.

In corporate news, Alexion shares jumped 9.3 per cent and were the biggest percentage gainers on the S&P 500 after the biotechnology company named Biogen's chief financial officer as its CFO.

The data also pressured the dollar index, which fell to its lowest since November 9. On the flip side, energy stocks plummeted along with crude oil futures and weighed on the S&P 500 Index ( SPX ), and an afternoon decline in tech stocks dragged the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) into the red for the third session in four. However, defensive sectors such as utilities rose. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 8,470.00 for a loss of 53.04 points or 0.62%.

The markets seem to keep chugging up the mountain these days, no matter what is going on in the USA or the world.

Johnson & Johnson rose 0.6 percent at $132.76 after the company's flu drug succeeded in a mid-stage trial.

The Russell 2000 is up 4.28 points, or 0.3 percent.

The S&P 500 is up 199.09 points, or 8.9 percent. August-dated gold futures fell $21.30, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,254.60 an ounce.

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