US stocks mixed; Alphabet weighs on tech sector, ahead of Fed decision By

© Reuters — U.S. stocks traded in a mixed fashion Wednesday, with disappointing results from Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) weighing on the Nasdaq in particular, ahead of the conclusion of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting.

By 09:35 ET (14:35 GMT), the was up 108 points, or 0.3%, while traded 25 points, or 0.5%, lower and dropped 175 points, or 1.1%.

Alphabet weighs heavily on tech sector

Hitting the markets Wednesday, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq in particular, has been the pullback in Alphabet (NASDAQ:) shares after the tech giant reported quarterly results after the close Tuesday.

Alphabet stock fell over 5% after the YouTube-parent said that spending would be “notably larger” in 2024, as it attempts to build out its AI offerings at its key advertising and cloud services units.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) stock fell 2.6% after a judge in the U.S. state of Delaware threw out CEO Elon Musk’s huge $55.8 billion Tesla package, saying that awarding such an “unfathomable sum” was not fair to shareholders.

Should the ruling be upheld, Musk would lose options to more than 303 million Tesla shares, or roughly about 10% of the company and well below his previously stated goal of 25% ownership.

Elsewhere, Boeing (NYSE:) stock rose over 2% after the embattled aircraft manufacturer delayed the release of its 2024 financial forecasts, with CEO Dave Calhoun saying it still has “much to prove” to win back the confidence of both regulators and passengers in the wake of a dangerous mid-air door plug breach earlier this month.

Earnings from chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) are due after the close.

Fed meeting to conclude

The announces its latest policy decision later in the session, and is widely tipped to keep interest rates on hold at more than two-decade highs.

Fed chief Jerome Powell’s accompanying press conference will be carefully studied for any comments around the path ahead for interest rates, after the central bank signaled in December that it could reduce rates as many as six times this year.

Inflation remains above the Fed’s stated 2% target, but it has continued to show signs of easing back down to this mark.

Economic activity has also been resilient, and there is more labor data to study Wednesday. The report showed that 107.000 jobs were added to private payrolls in January, slightly less than expected, but this follows the on Wednesday which pointed to an unexpected rise in December job openings.

Crude falls on weak Chinese data

Oil prices weakened Wednesday, as disappointing manufacturing activity data from China, the world’s biggest crude importer, weighed on demand sentiment.

By 09:35 ET, the futures traded 0.7% lower at $77.28 a barrel, while the contract dropped 0.6% to $82.04 a barrel.

The official release showed the world’s second-largest economy contracted for a fourth straight month in January, raising further doubts about the strength of the economic recovery of this vital crude market.

That said, the crude benchmarks are still on course for their first monthly gain since September as broadening Middle East conflicts raised supply concerns from this oil-rich region.

U.S. inventory data from the indicated that crude stockpiles dropped by 2.5 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 26, if this is confirmed by later in the session.

Additionally, rose 0.6% to $2,062.15/oz, while traded 0.2% higher at 1.0861.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this article.)

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