US Fed announces plan of $4.5 trln balance sheet reduction

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However, Satyam Panday, senior economist at Standard & Poor's, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) this one-off pop in the consumer price index (CPI) should not obscure the larger reality. The Nasdaq slipped 5 points to 6,456.

While traders reassessed the possibility of another USA rate increase, they awaited clues on whether European Central Bank would slow its bond purchases later this year due to an improving economy.

High-dividend stocks like household goods makers and utilities fell the most Wednesday afternoon.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a lackluster performance during trading on Wednesday. In particular, see his article "On Shrinking the Fed's Balance Sheet", and his American Banker piece with Norbert Michel on the Fed's precarious balance sheet situation.

"Higher prices for gasoline and some other items in the aftermath of the hurricanes will likely boost inflation temporarily", the Fed warned in its statement. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.28 percent. US stocks were poised for a steady opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures unchanged.

Citing strength in the USA job market, business investment growth, and "moderate but durable" economic expansion, the Federal Reserve-as expected-left interest rates unchanged at the end of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday. Stocks have also set a string of record highs. Technology stocks were down the most.

The rand's volatility can also make planning hard for companies.

Bed Bath & Beyond sank more than 16% after the home furnishing retailer reported earnings and sales below estimates, prompting a slew of price target cuts.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up a fraction of a point at 2,507.

Investors will be watching domestically for second-quarter gross domestic product figures which are expected to show economic growth accelerated to a quarterly pace of 0.8 percent from 0.6 percent in March. The index previously lost around 0.55% during the beginning of the week with the energy and utility sector recording new gains. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 14 cents to $56.15 a barrel in London.

"The medium-term narrative for sterling will continue to be dominated by Brexit, with Prime Minister Theresa May's keynote speech in Florence taking center stage on Friday", he said, adding that any further gains in sterling this week would be capped around $1.3680.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 39.45 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 22,370.80.

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