US stocks tread water after Fed trims growth outlook

NEW YORK (AFP/APP): Wall Street was little changed early Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve cut its growth outlook and announced an unexpected pivot on monetary policy.

Investors were also absorbing the latest Brexit developments as the odds mounted that Britain could crash out of the EU next week without a deal governing future trade relations.

Ten minutes into the day’s trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were both flat at 25,747.77 and 2,824.86 respectively. The tech-heavy Nasdaq had gained 0.2 percent at 7,741.98.

The Fed’s Wednesday announcements — which included details on how it planned to end the runoff of its current balance sheet of assets acquired following the financial crisis a decade ago — have helped push down yields on Treasury bonds, flattening the so-called yield curve, a closely watched recession indicator.

“If nothing else, the behavior of the Treasury market is forcing the stock market to think that it has gotten ahead of itself, which is creating some selling interest in the immediate wake of a Fed decision that was surprising and not surprising at the same time,” analyst Patrick O’Hare wrote at

Shares in Boeing were down 0.3 percent, following a Seattle Times report that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had joined inquiries into the certification of top-selling 737 MAX aircraft following fatal crashes.

Bio-pharmaceutical company Biogen nosedived more than 27 percent after announcing it would discontinue trials of an Alzheimer’s medication. Denim apparel brand Levi Strauss & Co rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the company’s initial public offering.

In economic data, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s monthly index of manufacturing activity leapt nearly 18 points, well above analyst expectations.

The Labor Department reported a slight fall in weekly data for new unemployment benefits claims, continuing a recent downward trend.