Wall Street closes mixed as Fed signals June rate hike

 19 May 2016 - 8:34

Wall Street closes mixed as Fed signals June rate hike
 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on May 17, 2016 in New York, New York. Expectations for higher interest rates this year resulted in a sharp sell off in stocks with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 181 points, or 1%, to 17530. Spencer Platt/AFP

NEW YORK: Wall Street closed mixed Wednesday as the Federal Reserve signaled a "likely” interest rate hike in June.
The Dow Jones fell 3 points to end the day at 17,526 points, and the S&P 500 rose 1 point to close at 2,047.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq was up 23 points to end at 4,739.
The Federal Open Market Committee's April meeting minutes revealed it "likely would be appropriate" to have a rate hike in June if U.S. macroeconomic data suggest an increase in economic growth and labor market conditions. 
After the minutes were released, the Dow and S&P 500 moved into negative territory. But, the two indexes regained losses to end flat, thanks to gains by financial banking giants. 
Citigroup shares rose 5 percent, Bank of America gained 4.8 percent and stocks of JPMorgan Chase increased 3.8 percent. Financial services company E-Trade Financial Co. had its shares rise 5.8 percent. 
With a possible rate hike looming, the dollar gained against a basket of currencies including the euro, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen. 
The stronger dollar pushed back oil prices more than 1 percent at the close of markets. 
At the final bell, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 1.1 percent to $47.61 per barrel and international benchmarkBrent crude fell 1.5 percent to $48.52.
Oil prices rose earlier in the day when weekly gasoline stocks in the U.S. fell by 2.5 million barrels for the week ending May 13, according to the country's Energy Information Administration.
Analysts expected a decline of 0.15 million barrels.

AA