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Stocks turn lower...Fed keeps key rate unchanged while signaling future hikes

August 1, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are mostly lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street, following the latest policy statement from the Federal Reserve. The Fed left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, while signaling further gradual rate hikes in the months ahead. Apple shares are rising after the company said its earnings jumped thanks to higher-priced iPhones. But Apple’s surge wasn’t enough to lift the broader market as energy and industrial companies slumped.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says it’s leaving its benchmark interest rate unchanged, but expects gradual rate hikes in the months ahead as long as the economy stays healthy. The Fed’s decision leaves the central bank’s key short-term rate at 1.75 percent to 2 percent — the level hit in June when the Fed boosted the rate for a second time this year. In a brief policy statement, the Fed notes a strengthening labor market, economic activity growing at “a strong rate,” and inflation that’s reached the central bank’s target of 2 percent annual gains.

NEW YORK (AP) — The price war among mutual fund companies is hitting a new frontier. Fidelity says it will soon offer a pair of mutual funds that charge zero in expenses. The new index funds are part of a suite of changes Fidelity is making to lower expenses and make investing easier, even for investors with smaller amounts to put into the market. The two zero-fee Fidelity index funds will be available Friday. One will cover the U.S. stock market, and the other will follow the international stock market.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger is introducing online delivery as convenience becomes an increasingly crucial element in customer loyalty in a hyper-competitive atmosphere. Kroger Ship will launch in Cincinnati, its home town, as well as Houston, Louisville, and Nashville. It will expand to other markets over the next few months. Delivery is free for any order with a tab exceeding $35. Smaller deliveries are $4.99 per order. Kroger is the biggest grocery chain in the country by revenue, running 2,800 stores.

DENVER (AP) — Molson Coors will attempt to sell pot-infused drinks in Canada, where consumable marijuana will become legal next year. The brewer says its Canadian division will partner with the Canadian cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corp. to develop a non-alcoholic drink containing marijuana. Molson Coors Brewing Co. is based in Colorado, which along with Washington, were the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

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