US Stocks Choppy Ahead of Fed; Apple Beats, Twitter Slumps
New York (Oct 27) Markets remained on edge Tuesday as investors wondered whether the Federal Reserve is still intent on raising interest rates this year.
The central bank, which ends a two-day meeting on Wednesday, is expected to keep rates unchanged for now but may signal whether a December rate hike is still a possibility.
Uncertainty about the Fed's intentions has kept trading choppy this week. The S&P 500 closed down 0.26%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.23%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.09%.
In after-market earnings news, Apple (AAPL - Get Report) climbed nearly 1% after iPhone sales in China boosted overall quarterly revenue. The tech giant earned $1.96 a share in its recent quarter, above estimates of $1.88. Revenue jumped 22% to $51.5 billion and beat forecasts. The company sold 48.04 million iPhones over the quarter, only two days of which included sales of the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
Twitter (TWTR) slumped more than 11% after releasing a disappointing sales outlook. The social network expects fourth-quarter revenue in the range of $695 million to $710 million. Analysts had expected an average $741 million. Twitter bested third-quarter estimates on the top- and bottom-line.
Stocks will remain focused on the Fed on Wednesday.
The Fed "has boxed itself into a serious situation that may not only cost it its credibility, but also may create a serious dilemma for the markets in the future," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in a note.
The central bank opted to leave rates unchanged at its September meeting, making the question of 'when' even more ambiguous. Since then, economic data has weakened considerably and the Fed pounds its commitment to data-dependence even as it continues to suggest a rate hike before the end of the year is more than likely.