Investing.com – Wall Street was mixed on Wednesday as investors pin their hopes on the U.S. tax reform bill and technology stocks fell.
On Tuesday, the Senate Budget Committee approved the Senate's tax plan, bringing it closer to a floor vote. Doubts remain however on whether Congress can pass the bill before the end of the year.
Markets were also bolstered by hints of lighter banking regulation and the increasing likelihood of a December rate hike.
Fed chair nominee Jerome Powell said in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that a December rate hike likely and he was in favor of lighter bank regulation for smaller banks.
On Wednesday current Fed chair Janet Yellen said at her last Congressional hearing that a strengthening economy warrants continued rate increases.
Pharmaceutical firm Allergan (NYSE:AGN) was among the top performers after the morning bell, rising 4.55% after Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) downplayed competition concerns over its key product, Botox. Restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE:CMG) increased 4.00% amid news that its co-founder Steve Ells would step down as chief executive, while drugstore chain Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) jumped 13.76% after it transferred stores to Walgreens.
Meanwhile technology shares slumped. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) was down 1.94% while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) slipped 1.70% and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) decreased 3.71%. Payment processor Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) fell 6.58% and PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) slid 5.27%.
In economic news, third quarter economic growth was the highest in over a year, while pending home sales grew over 3.5% in October. The economic data gives a strong case for rising Fed rates in December and beyond.
Stocks in Europe were mixed. In Germany the DAX surged 82 points or 0.64% while France’s CAC 40 was up 42 points or 0.79% and in London the FTSE 100 decreased 39 points or 0.52%. Meanwhile Spain’s IBEX 35 rose 159 points or 1.57% and the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 gained 24 points or 0.67%.
In commodities, gold futures fell 0.76% to $1,285.00 a troy ounce while crude oil futures slumped 0.19% to 57.88 a barrel. The U.S dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched forward 0.02% to 93.22.
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