U.S. stocks edge lower as FedEx profit warning drags

U.S. stocks came under pressure on Wednesday after FedEx issued a profit warning, while investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates in what has been a rocky week for global markets.

Shares of the package delivery company tumbled 13 per cent and were on course for their sharpest one-day percentage drop since the financial crisis after the company blamed U.S.-China trade tensions and its split with Amazon.com Inc for its dismal full-year profit forecast.

According to Reuters, the stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 index and drove a 1.4 per cent drop in shares of rival United Parcel Service Inc. The broader industrial sector was off 0.57 per cent.

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The central bank is expected to lower interest rates by a quarter percentage point for the second time in three months, but a deep divide among policymakers has seen traders abandon all bets on a third reduction this year.

“The focus is going to be on the policy statement, specifically, whether or not he gives any indication if this is a shift in policy or another mid-cycle rate cut,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

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Shares of interest-rate sensitive banking index slipped 0.35 per cent and were on pace for a third day of losses.

Expectations of lower rates have spurred a Wall Street rally this year, with the benchmark S&P 500 now about 1 per cent below its all-time high hit in July.

Equity markets took a hit on Monday after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil refinery sparked concerns about a supply shortage, leading to a spike in oil prices. However, a reassurance by Saudi Arabia that it would quickly to restore full production calmed investor nerves.

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ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 58.42 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 27,052.38, the S&P 500 was down 9.10 points, or 0.30 per cent, at 2,996.60. The Nasdaq Composite was down 25.38 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 8,160.64.

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