Dow drops after Federal Reserve highlights slowdown in U.S. growth
Oil's upward move buoys energy stocks
New York stocks reversed their modest gains Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it would leave interest rates unchanged, citing slower U.S. growth.
The Dow was down 222 points at the close of trading to 15,944, hurt in part by disappointing earnings reports from Apple and Boeing.
Apple said last night that its iPhone sales would fall in the current quarter. Boeing's outlook also disappointed, after it reported it would deliver fewer planes this year than last year.
But the main news came from the Fed, which said "economic growth slowed" since its last meeting in December.
Using new, more cautious language, the Fed said it was watching markets and projected "only gradual increases in the federal funds rate." That may mean no increase in March, analysts say.
The TSX followed New York stocks lower after the announcement but bounced 46 points higher at the close to 12,377.
Toronto markets were digesting lower than expected earnings from Rogers Communications and convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard.
Another low point came for Bombardier, which slipped below $1 a share as orders fail to materialize for its CSeries jet. If it remains that low for an extended period, Bombardier risks losing its listing.
Energy and financial stocks moved higher, after oil prices moved upward.
West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark North American contract, rose 43 cents to $31.88 US a barrel, and Brent, the main international contract, was up 84 cents at $32.65.
Crude was buoyed by a dip in the stockpile of oil in storage at Cushing, Okla., likely the effect of last week's cold weather in the U.S.
There was also news that Russia might be willing to enter talks with OPEC about trying to move oil prices higher.
The Canadian dollar was up slightly at 70.94 cents US.