FedEx shares fell more than 5.5 percent after CFO Alan Graf warned in the company’s quarterly report that “slowing international macroeconomic conditions and weaker global trade growth trends continue, as seen in the year-over-year decline in our FedEx Express international revenue.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 113 points as Johnson & Johnson lagged. The S&P 500 dipped 0.3 percent as the health care sector lagged. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2 percent.
That warning was followed by UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti saying this is one of the worst first-quarter environments ever as investment banking revenue falls about a third from the year-earlier period. Meanwhile, German auto maker BMW said its earnings could fall significantly in 2019 and added it will cut $13.6 billion in costs.
These negative comments come as the U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady later in the session, with investors monitoring a decision on the Fed’s rate projections for the next few years.
“The single most prominent bullish influence on stocks right now is the dovish Fed, and the run to fresh five-month highs in the S&P underscored its ability to single-handedly move the market,” Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report, said in a note. “The new highs presented an opportunity to revisit the idea that while the Fed has the ability to drive stock prices higher like they currently are, they are also almost always the reason bull markets come to an end.”
Stocks are up more than 12 percent this year in large part because the Fed said in January it would be “patient” in raising rates this year. However, Wall Street could be setting itself up for a letdown if the Fed does not indicate there will be no rate hikes this year as investors have priced in extremely favorable monetary policy conditions.