Stocks pared their early gains after the Federal Reserve signaled that it plans to keep raising interest rates next year ..
Announced at 2 pm, the Fed's decision was not the tonic that stock market bulls – battered by a near 8 percent drop in stocks this month through Tuesday – had hoped for. The S & P 500 stock index, which had been up more than 1 percent before the Fed's announcement, turned lower after the central bank raised its key short-term interest rate by a quarter-point.
It was widely expected that the Fed would raise interest rates again, but policy makers were also expected to calm jittery investors by emphasizing that further rate increases in 201
[Investorsexpectamuch less aggressive Fed in 2019.]
Oil prices, which have taken a pounding in recent days, were relatively stable, rising slightly after the Fed's announcement, although remaining near their lowest level this year.
[Readmoreabout Tuesday's drop in crude oil prices and what's behind it.]
In the United States, package delivery giant FedEx was down as much as 10 percent after it cut its forecast for 2019 profits more sharply than analysts had expected. FedEx executives spotlighted ongoing strength in the United States, thanks to the strong position of consumers. Men det downgraded sin outlook for den globale økonomien.
"Den toppede for global økonomisk vækst nu ser ut til at være bag os," sagde en FedEx executive, Rajesh Subramaniam, på en konferencegruppe efter udgivelsen af resultaterne i går.  Growing concerns about slowing global growth, due in part to the trade war between the United States and China, and the Federal Reserve's response to any potential slowdown has been at the heart of this year's global sell-off for stocks. For most of the year, stocks in the United States, which have an economy that is less dependent on trade, had been largely isolated from the drop.
But a sell-off that started late September gathered pace in October, and has sent the S & P 500 stock index down more than 13 percent since its recent high-water market. In December alone, the S & P was down almost 8 percent through Tuesday.
In light of those losses, investors have increasingly come to see Wednesday's decision from the Fed as crucial to whether the current bull market has more room to run – the latest episode in een nauwe relatie die zich ontwikkelde tussen de financiële markten en de Federal Reserve in de aftermath of the financial crisis and deep recession that began in 2008.
That autumn, the United States suffered the economic equivalent of a heart attack: financial markets seized up , afkorting pengemængden til virksomheder gennem markederne. As stocks plummeted and unemployment surged, the Federal Reserve ran into action, cutting interest rates to near zero and starting a process that would eventually pump trillions of dollars into financial markets.
The Fed's actions were widely credited with the cushioning of the collapse of markets and supercharging the rally in stocks that began in March 2009. By some measures it's the longest bull market on record, having pulled the S & P 500 up by more than 275 percent.
As the economy recovered, the Fed began to withdraw some of that support. The central bank began raising the short-term interest rates it controls in December 2015. And it has also effectively withdrawn hundreds of billions of dollars from financial markets this year, which has helped put upward pressure on longer-term interest rates, which are the foundation for key consumer borrowing rates.
"The plan for the Fed has been, as the economy heals and approaches something that looks more like a healthy state, they should gradually go back from their support of financial markets and kind of let them fend for themselves, "said Julia Coronado, a former Federal Reserve economist and president of the economic consulting firm MacroPolicy Perspectives. "They have to stand on their own now."