Wall Street opened down on Thursday morning following the decision by Bank of Japan (BOJ) to not increase interest rates. While global demand remains and the Japanese yen remain stable, investors were surprised at the news. The announcement comes just a day after the U.S. Fed’s decision to hold steady on interest rates.
The Japanese labor market has continued to expand, and inflation has been kept below the central bank’s 2% target. Erik Wytenus, a global investment specialist at J.P Morgan Private Bank in Palm Beach, Florida said, “We would not expect the Bank of Japan’s decision to have a sustainable, lasting impact on the U.S., but we do think that it is yet another illustration of the power that central banks have on the markets.”
Central Banks play a critical role in capital markets. “It has been over half a decade now where central banks are the most important factor in financial markets,” Erik added.
In the U.S., recent data indicated that economic growth slowed to its most sluggish pace in two years. This decline has been attributed to decreased consumer spending. Gross domestic product rose at a 0.5%, 0.2 points below the 0.7% expected rate.
According to another report, Americans filing for unemployment claims increased to 257,000 last week from 247,000 the previous week. The rise has been triggered by tightening labor market conditions, a trend that has remained consistent.
By 9:39 a.m. ET (13:29 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 89.75 points, or 0.5%, at 17,951.8. The S&P 500 .SPX was down 6.38 points, or 0.3%, at 2,088.77 while Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 0.53 points, or 0.01%, at 4,862.61.
Only one out of the ten Nine S&P 500 sectors opened high. The rest were lower with the materials index .SPLRCM declined the most at 1.08%. DuPont (DD.N) and Dow (DOW.N) dropped 1.5%, influencing the fall in the sector.
The technology sector .SPLRCT was the only gainer, helped much by Facebook (FB.O), which increased more than 10%. At opening bell, the stocks were at a record $119.94, just a day after the company’s revenue increased 50 percent.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S., First-quarter corporate earnings are expected to drop 6.9 percent.
Domino’s Pizza (DPZ.N) declined 9.2% to $121.15 after its quarter earnings report missed to meet expectations.
St. Jude Medical (STJ.N) climbed 25.1% percent to $77.47 after Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) said it agreed to buy the medical device maker for $25 billion. Abbott dropped 7.3% to $40.66.
The overall declines on the NYSE were 1824 while gainers only 772. On the Nasdaq Composite, 1537 issues dropped while 696 advanced. The S&P 500 index recorded eight new 52-week highs and one new low. The Nasdaq c