August 22, 2018 / 6:45 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-S&P flat after Fed minutes as index marks record bull run

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* Trade is top concern in Fed minutes

* Manafort and Cohen legal woes add uncertainty

* Indexes: Dow dips 0.3 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline, adds NEW YORK dateline)

By April Joyner

NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was little changed on Wednesday after the release of the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its last policy meeting as the index marked its longest bull-market run.

U.S. central bankers discussed raising interest rates soon to counter excessive economic strength but also examined how global trade disputes could batter businesses and households.

The S&P 500 initially added slight gains after the release of the minutes but then reversed course.

“There wasn’t much of a surprise other than that they heightened trade as a risk to the economy and they felt pretty confident inflation will remain low and wage growth will pick up,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

Along with the market milestone and the Fed minutes, the impact of the legal woes of two former advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump loomed.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud charges on Tuesday evening, while Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a range of charges and said he acted at the direction of Trump.

Investors are considering whether the twin setback will hurt the Republican Party’s election prospects and widen a criminal probe that has overshadowed Trump’s presidency.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 75.62 points, or 0.29 percent, to 25,746.67, the S&P 500 lost 0.82 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,862.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.60 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,882.77.

The S&P’s bull-market run has now stretched for 3,453 days, the longest streak by commonly used definitions, and comes a day after it hit a record intraday high.

“There is a lot more interest around the fact that we are in the longest bull run ever. I do expect the markets to go back and forth, but today the swings are not that large,” said Peter Lazaroff, co-chief information officer at Plancorp in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.37-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 98 new highs and 18 new lows. (Reporting by April Joyner; additional reporting by Sinéad Carew in New York and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and James Dalgleish)

Nuestros Estándares:Los principios Thomson Reuters
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