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European stocks track Wall Street higher ahead of Fed

15 June 2017

A weak report on retail sales sent bond yields lower and high-dividend stocks like utilities and real estate companies higher. Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday following Wall Street's tech-driven rise as investors wait. Investors are buying high-dividend stocks, government bonds and gold and are selling bank stocks. Energy companies are dropping along with oil prices.

Traders and analysts appear divided over whether China's central bank will once again follow the Fed and raise its short-term rates, as it did in March.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,434 as of 2:55 p.m.

But industrial robot maker Fanuc rose 0.65 percent to 21,565 yen and Sony gained 0.56 percent to 4,060 yen, tracking rallies in USA technology firms. The Nasdaq composite advanced 9 points, or 0.1%, to 6,229.

One report suggests that losing the market could cost the country 83,000 jobs, mostly in London, one of the world's top finance hubs. The Russell 2000 index sank 8.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,417.57. That suggests investors are anxious about the economy, which could have an outsize effect on smaller, domestically-focused companies.

Fed Raises Key Interest Rate For 4th Time Since 2015
They increased their projections for economic growth this year to 2.2 percent from the 2.1 percent they forecast in March. The central bank acknowledged the continuous progress in labor market while expressed their concerns over weak inflation.

Trader Frank O'Connell works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Equity markets struggled despite a strong lead from Wall Street, where the Dow and S&P 500 ended at record highs. The Nasdaq isn't far from the record it set last week, but it was hit particularly hard by the steep sell-off in technology companies Friday and Monday.

The Commerce Department said people spent less money at gas stations, department stores and electronics retailers last month. Citizens Financial dropped 98 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $35.90 and Lincoln National lost $1.49, or 2.3 percent, to $67.06.

In a separate report, the Labour Department said consumer prices slipped, partly because of lower energy prices. That's one reason there has been little inflation in the economy lately, a continued concern for Federal Reserve policymakers.

While an interest rate rise is widely expected by the Federal Reserve, its statement, and that of its boss Janet Yellen, will be closely inspected for clues about future monetary policy. That would be the third increase since December.

Bond prices jumped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.13% from 2.21%. NextEra Energy, the parent of Florida Power & Light, climbed $1.42, or 1%, to $141.37 and power company Southern Co. rose 42 cents to $51.48. Cereal maker General Mills rose $1.09, or 1.9 percent, to $59.26 and PepsiCo advanced $1.55, or 1.3 percent, to $117.87.

Scalise and Others Shot during GOP Congressional Baseball Practice
Trump had posted about the shooting earlier in the day on her Twitter account, expressing her gratitude for first responders . The gunman was taken down by shots from security officers, one of whom continued firing after being injured, Brooks said.

The dollar resumed its drop against its Canadian counterpart after skidding to its lowest levels since late February in the wake of hawkish comments from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, who signalled that the BOC could raise interest rates sooner than previously thought.

The dollar moved in a tight range against the yen in Asia ahead of the Fed announcement. The euro jumped to $1.1277 from $1.1212.

Senior housing and healthcare real estate investment trust Welltower rose $1.12, or 1.5%, to $75.26. Ventas, which operates senior housing, Ventas picked up 94 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $69.20.

COMMODITIES: Oil futures plunged after the USA government gave its weekly update on fuel stockpiles. Benchmark US crude fell 1.73 dollars, or 3.7%, to settle at 44.73 dollars a barrel in NY. Brent crude, used to price global oils, shed 50 cents to $48.22 in London.

Exxon Mobil lost 89 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $82.07 and Anadarko Petroleum sank $1.94, or 3.9 percent, to $47.28. Seoul's Kospi lost 0.2 percent to 2,369.84 and benchmarks in Singapore and Malaysia also retreated. Its shares climbed $2.58, or 9.6 percent, to $29.57. Analysts said Wall Street has a lot of respect for Clancy, who has been Biogen's CFO for 10 years.

NY Rangers buying out contract of defenseman Dan Girardi
Debuting in 2006-07, Girardi has played in 788 games over 11 seasons , scoring 46 goals and 230 points in that time. Girardi, 33, however, has battled injuries in recent years, including cracked ribs this past season .