The Stumble? Dow Slips form Highs, Nasdaq Drops for Second Day

Weak data weighs on bank stocks; Fed rate decision looms

US retail shares hit as sales fall in May

At 1532 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was exactly flat at 21,329, while the S&P 500 was off by 0.08% to 2,438 and the Nasdaq Composite was lower by 0.04% at 6218.

The US central bank cited continued US economic growth and job market strength, proceeding with its first tightening cycle in more than a decade.

Technology stocks were also lower with the S&P 500 technology sector decreasing -0.45%. Among energy stocks, Halliburton climbed 2% and oil refiner Tesoro rose 3.3%.

Technology shares suffered another bout of weakness on Thursday (Jun 15), leading the broader market lower amid unease over rising USA interest rates and uncertainty about President Donald Trump's agenda.

USA stock futures on Thursday pointed to a drop at the open, after the Federal Reserve took a more hawkish tone than expected, as it sounded determined about normalizing monetary policy.

Financials were up 0.5%, while energy gained 0.7%. The group had fallen as much as 1.3 per cent during the session.

The technology sector was down 1.2%, with Apple off 1.6%. United States data showed an unexpectedly large weekly build in USA gasoline inventories and International Energy Agency (IEA) data projected a big increase in non-Opec output in 2018. The Fed also said it will hike up the federal-funds rate on Thursday by the assumed 0.25% points, which will leave the benchmark interest rate between 1% and 1.25%.

"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. "Certainly more transparency is a good thing". Biogen's stock was down 3.5%.

H&R Block rose 7.9 per cent after the tax preparation service's quarterly revenue and profit beat analysts' expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,356 to 1,247. In the past year, the index has gained 20.93%.

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