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Stocks edge lower...Fed to start reducing bond holdings...Another rate hike expected this year

September 20, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are edging lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street, following the Federal Reserve’s latest economic and interest rate policy update. As expected, the Fed ended its two-day meeting by announcing plans to begin reducing its enormous bond portfolio. Fed officials also decided to keep the short-term benchmark interest rate between 1 percent and 1.25 percent. But they say they still expect to hike short-term interest rates one more time this year and three times in 2018, if persistently low inflation rebounds.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says that in October it will start gradually unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, which expanded to unprecedented levels in efforts to spur economic growth after the 2008 financial crisis. The balance sheet primarily consists of government and mortgage-backed bonds. As the bonds mature, the Fed plans to spend less money each month to replace them. The central bank intends to spend $10 billion less on bonds beginning next month, a figure that will eventually reach $50 billion a month in October 2018.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog says travelers who check at least one bag are paying more overall to fly than they did before airlines began unbundling fares in 2008. The Government Accountability Office also says the proliferation of new fees for services means flyers aren’t always able to determine the full cost of their travel and compare prices across airlines before buying tickets.

DETROIT (AP) — A federal court filing says money stolen from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center was laundered through a fake Detroit-area hospice center. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report that the government is seeking to keep $292,000 seized from bank accounts connected to Hospice of Metropolitan Detroit. More than $4 million in training and education funds intended for autoworkers was stolen.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A former distillery worker has pleaded guilty in a Kentucky bourbon-heist scheme. Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger is the accused ringleader of an operation that stole tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of bourbon from a pair of distilleries. The former Buffalo Trace distillery employee faces up to 15 years in prison.

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