Stocks fell a bit Thursday — the S&P 500 just barely — as Wall Street digested news of slower economic growth and the prospect of an interest rate hike in December.
The Dow ended down 24 points, or 0.1%, a day after the blue-chip index rallied nearly 200 points after the Federal Reserve kept the door open to a rate increase later this year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped a scant 0.04% into the red and the Nasdaq composite finished down 0.4%.
The government reported that the economy grew at a slightly lower-than-expected 1.5% in the third quarter. That was a sharp drop from the 3.9% growth in the second quarter and below the 1.6% growth expected by economists, according to Bloomberg. The slowdown was partly attributed to businesses adding far more slowly to inventories, subtracting a whopping 1.4% from growth in the third quarter.
The stock market’s yo-yo reaction to the Fed’s hints that they still might pull the trigger on an interest rate increase at its final meeting of the year continued in Thursday’s session. Yesterday, stocks first tumbled on the Fed’s suggestion that rate increases remain on the table for 2015, only to rally into the close leaving the Dow up nearly 200 points, or 1.1%.