S&P ends lower as investors eye Fed meeting

The S&P retreated but the Nasdaq eked out a gain in a choppy session Tuesday as investors anxiously awaited the result of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.

Fears about rising interest rates and an overheating economy have investors fixated on the Fed’s meeting, where policymakers are likely to raise economic forecasts but repeat their pledge to remain accommodative.

Vespula Capital President Jeff Tomasulo:

“To me, they’re really focusing on the Fed, right. That’s what we have today, tomorrow, and I think there are still a little shockwaves from interest rates.”

Investors bought tech stocks and sold recent winners like energy and financial stocks, dragging the Dow down four-tenth percent and S&P 500 two-tenth percent. The Nasdaq shed some of its earlier momentum but a rise in Apple helped lift the index a tenth percent.

Apple shares gained 1% after Evercore ISI hiked its price target on the iPhone maker’s shares.

Also boosting the Nasdaq: shares of Starbucks rose 2%. BTIG upgraded the coffeehouse chain to “buy” from “neutral,” citing strong sales and earnings outlook.

Ford was the S&P 500’s second biggest decliner, falling 5%. The automaker announced a $2 billion convertible debt deal.

Video Transcript

- The S&P 500 retreated, but the NASDAQ eked out a gain in a choppy session Tuesday as investors anxiously awaited the result of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting. Fears about rising interest rates and an overheating economy have investors fixated on the Fed's meeting, where policymakers are likely to raise economic forecasts, but repeat their pledge to remain accommodative.

Vespula Capital president Jeff Tomasulo.

JEFF TOMASULO: But to me, I think they really focus in on the Fed. Right? That's what we have tomorrow. And I think there's still a little shockwaves from interest rates.

- Investors bought tech stocks and sold recent winners like energy and financial stocks, dragging the Dow down 4/10% and the S&P 500 2/10%. The NASDAQ shed some of its earlier momentum, but a rise in Apple helped lift the index a 1/10%. Apple shares gained 1% after Evercore ISI hiked its price target on the iPhone maker's shares. Also boosting the NASDAQ, shares of Starbucks rose 2%. BTIG upgraded the coffeehouse chain to "buy" from "neutral," citing strong sales and earnings outlook. Ford was S&P 500'd second biggest decliner, falling 5%. The automaker announced a $2 billion convertible debt deal.