U.S. Stocks Open Lower as Investors Await More Direction From Fed

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U.S. Stocks Open Lower as Investors Await More Direction From Fed
Credit: © Reuters.

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks opened lower, on track for the S&P 500 to break a four-week rally as investors waited for more direction from the Federal Reserve.

At 9:53 ET (13:53 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 272 points, or 0.8%, while the S&P was down 1.1% and the Nasdaq fell 1.6%.

Stocks have been rising since July as investors anticipate the Fed taking its foot off the gas pedal a bit and slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes. The Fed is trying to tamp down inflation without tipping the economy into recession, and the minutes of its July meeting indicated some policymakers were worried about overshooting the mark.

Some Fed officials in recent days have suggested otherwise, however. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard was inclined for another 0.75 percentage point increase, he said on Thursday, and Kansas City Fed President Esther George said the board wouldn’t stop until it was “completely convinced” inflation is dissipating.

San Francisco Fed colleague Mary Daly called another 0.50 to 0.75 point increase "reasonable.” The Fed is scheduled to meet in September to make its next rate move.

Meme stocks have been a focus this week, led by the remarkable volatility of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ: BBBY ), which is on the downward slope after activist investor Ryan Cohen sold all his shares. Bed Bath was down more than 40% in morning trading.

Deere & Company (NYSE: DE ) profit missed expectations while revenue was better than expected. The farm equipment maker is facing rising costs and cut its outlook. Shares fell 2.7%.

Foot Locker Inc (NYSE: FL ) shares jumped 20% after it announced a new CEO, Mary Dillon, formerly of Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA ), who will move in Sept. 1 to succeed Richard Johnson.

Oil was flat. Crude Oil WTI Futures traded at $90.50 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures dipped 0.4% to $96.12 a barrel. Gold Futures also fell 0.35, to $1765 an ounce.

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