US Stocks Assess Corporate Results, Forex Eyes BOJ

US Stocks Assess Corporate Results, Forex Eyes BOJ

US stocks have fluctuated near all-time highs today and then retreated a bit amid a mix of corporate results as investors await data Friday on the strength of the US economy, while stimulus bets influenced global currency markets ahead of the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) policy meeting.

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Near 2:00 PM EST, the Dow Jones Industrial average had fallen 0.4%, and the S&P 500 was also down 0.17%. The Nasdaq, on the other hand, had risen 0.02%. Facebook shares rose 1.9%. as the social networking company reported earnings that more than doubled from a year earlier, topping analysts’ views, as well as a 15% rise in monthly users. Investors will get results from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Amazon after the market close today.

In other market movers, Whole Foods Market fell 8.9% after it reported that sales declined last quarter, as the company faces more competition from other supermarkets that have been increasing their organic produce options. And, Ford shares lost 9.6% after the company reported a 9% drop in profit as sales slowed in the United States and struggled in China. The company warned that its full-year guidance might need to be cut.

Traders have whipsawed currencies from the yen to the pound this week on speculation over additional stimulus. They’ll get more data in the next 24 hours, as the BOJ is expected to expand a record program, while Europe will announce results of the latest stress tests for banks before investors get their first glimpse of US gross domestic product in the second quarter. 
Although policy makers at the US Federal Reserve Bank voted to keep interest rates unchanged, they noted that “near-term risks” to the world’s biggest economy had diminished. The Fed said the job market had rebounded, with signs that hiring was robust. It did not give a timetable for when it might resume raising rates, but analysts said its latest statement revived that possibility.

Investors are also hoping for fresh stimulus efforts from the Bank of Japan, which is expected to vote Friday on expanding monetary policy measures aimed at reviving sputtering growth. The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) in extra government spending to encourage growth, but details are uncertain.


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