Dow Ends Higher: Stocks Gain as Fed Signals no Rate Hikes in 2020

Stocks ended higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve left benchmark interest rates unchanged and signaled no rate hikes in 2020.
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  1. Stocks end higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged at its final policy meeting of the year.
  2. Chevron is Real Money's Stock of the Day. The oil giant said it expects to write down as much as $11 billion in the fourth quarter, more than half of it from its Appalachia natural gas assets, after a slump in prices.
  3. Home Depot said it expects overall sales growth of between 3.5% and 4% next year, missing forecasts of 4.3%.

Stocks ended higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting policy committee opted to leave benchmark interest rates unchanged through at least 2020.

In its final post-meeting statement of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee, in its unanimous decision, said it saw the current policy rate as "appropriate." It also signaled that it expects to leave rates alone in 2020, and potentially raise rates one time in 2021.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 29 points, or 0.11%, to end at 27,911, the S&P 500 was up 0.29% and the Nasdaq rose 0.44%.

Shares of oil and natural gas producer and refiner Chevron  (CVX) - Get Report were lower on Wednesday after the company said it expects to write down as much as $11 billion in the fourth quarter, more than half of it from its Appalachia natural gas assets, after a slump in prices. 

Saudi Aramco shares, meanwhile, posted solid gains on their first day of trading in Riyadh, boosting the value of the world's biggest oil company - and history's biggest initial public offering -- closer to the government's $2 trillion target

Home Depot  (HD) - Get Report declined 1.8% Wednesday after the world's biggest home-improvement retailer issued fresh 2020 sales guidance following last month's disappointing third-quarter earnings.

Home Depot said it expects overall sales growth of between 3.5% and 4% next year, missing the Refinitiv forecast of 4.3%, with a similar range estimated for comparable-store sales. Home Depot also reaffirmed its 2019 earnings guidance that sees growth of 3.1% from 2018's total of $10.03 a share.

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report was active after the head of the Federal Aviation Administration said the planemaker's troubled 737 MAX wasn't likely to be certified to fly before the end of the year. Shares fell on the announcement but rebounded to end up $2.18, or 0.63%, at $350.08.

Dave & Buster's  (PLAY) - Get Report posted third-quarter adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates, as revenue jumped 6.1% to $299.4 million.  Shares traded lower by the end of the day, closing down $1.41, or 3.5%, at $38.58.

GameStop  (GME) - Get Report plunged nearly 19% after the video game retailer posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss and lowered its full-year profit guidance as gamers continued to put off new purchases in advance of 2020 PS4 and Xbox releases.

The Labor Department said Wednesday the consumer price index increased 0.3% in November, more than expected. Year over, CPI has risen 2.1% vs. 1.8% in October.