Markets went diving down yesterday as the Federal Reserve says it will remain "patient" on raising interest rates and indicated it sees the U.S. economy getting stronger. The Fed also sees inflation declining, and it may decline further. But it expects inflation to increase over the medium term as the labor market improves and the temporary effects of low energy prices fade. (CNBC)
In what could be another death shudder, Sears laid off 115 corporate workers, including 100 employees at its headquarters effective immediately. Sears hasn't had a profitable quarter since fourth quarter of 2012. (CNBC)
Qualcomm stock fell more than 7% in after-hours trading when the company lowered its chip guidance. The technology firm said it lowered the outlook on its semiconductor in part because of lower demand by manufactures. Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor has a major buyer in Samsung, and the lowered outlook may reflect Apple's share gains in the smartphone market. (AP)
The S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 20. The MSCI International Index is up 0.24% in early trading.
Oil is up 4 cents at $4 a barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude stocks rose by 8.9 million barrels last week to 407 million barrels, the highest level since records began in 1982. Gasoline stocks fell by 2.6 million barrels while distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.9 million barrels. Refined product demand continues to be the sole source of strength for the petroleum market. (Reuters)