NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2017 / U.S. markets were mixed Wednesday as minutes released from the Federal Open Market Committee's recent meeting showed that an interest rate hike should happen "fairly soon". The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.16 percent to close at 20,775.60, up 5.13 percent year-to-date, while the S&P 500 Index declined 0.11 percent to close at 2,362.82, up 5.54 percent year-to-date. Markets also had to battle falling oil prices as concerns of large inventories saw light, sweet crude for April delivery fall 0.87 percent to settle at $53.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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"Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon if incoming information on the labor market and inflation was in line with or stronger than their current expectations or if the risks of overshooting the committee's maximum-employment and inflation objectives increased," according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting, which was released Wednesday.
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Advanced Micro Devices' shares gained 2.00 percent to close at $14.28 a share on Wednesday. The stock traded between $14.04 and $14.50 on volume of 71.51 million shares traded. On February 22nd, the company has recently announced the launch of the AMD Ryzen 7 desktop processors. The Ryzen processors are expected to match the performance of the highest-end Core i7 processors, for roughly half the price.
"Four years ago we began development of our 'Zen' processor core with the goal to deliver unprecedented generational performance gains and return choice and innovation to the high-performance computing market," said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD. "On March 2, enthusiasts and gamers around the world will experience 'Zen' in action, as we launch our Ryzen 7 family of processors and reinvigorate the desktop computing market."
First Solar' shares dropped 8.33 percent to close at $33.57 a share on Wednesday. The stock traded between $33.49 and $36.15 on volume 10.95 million shares traded. The company reported a loss of $6.92 per share for the fourth quarter of 2016, which included a pre-tax restructuring charge of $729 million. Sales totaled $480 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, a decrease of $208 million when compared to the previous quarter and a decrease of $462 million when compared to same quarter prior year. The Company expects revenue for year 2017 to be in the range of $2.8 billion to $2.9 billion and expects GAAP loss in the range of $0.80 to $0.05 for year 2017.
"Despite the difficult restructuring decisions that we undertook in the fourth quarter, we ended the year with strong operational results," commented Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. "Our best line exited the quarter running above 16.9% conversion efficiency, and for the full year our fleet averaged 16.4% efficiency, an 80 basis point improvement over the prior year."
Today's Features Includes:
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD)
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR)
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