Stocks held lower on Wednesday as a rate hike in December from the Federal Reserve grew more likely.
The S&P 500 was down 0.4%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.14%, and the Nasdaq decreased 0.5%. Losses were double current levels shortly after the Fed made its announcement.
The Fed left the fed funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5% at its November meeting, noting that it was waiting for some further evidence of progress toward its goals of full employment and 2% inflation. The decision was 8 to 2 with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Kansas City Fed President Esther George the two dissenters.
"The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the central bank said in a statement. "The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement."
The Fed's policy-making group was expected to stand pat on interest rates. A press conference hasn't been scheduled. The chances of a December rate hike sits at 72%, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
"All the signs now point to a hike in December," said Luke Bartholomew, fixed income investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "The labor market is doing well, inflation is creeping up and growth is good. However, there's the small matter of the U.S. election to navigate in between now and the U.S. Federal Reserve's next meeting."
Crude inventories in the U.S. increased by 14.4 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 28, according to the Energy Information Administration. The increase was even worse than a separate reading from the American Petroleum Institute which showed an increase of 9.3 million barrels.