Stocks Mixed, Fed Changes Policy - Weekly Update Sept. 25, 2017
Domestic indexes were mixed last week, as the Dow gained 0.36%, the S&P 500 eked out a 0.08% increase, and the NASDAQ lost 0.33%. International stocks in the MSCI EAFE added a solid 0.68%. 
Three stories that have dominated conversations and driven investor attention in 2017 continued last week:
Healthcare policy: The Senate's continuing discussion of healthcare reform impacted stock performance in connected industries.
Tension with North Korea: The markets responded quietly to continuing conflict between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, although some investments saw a bump later in the week.
Interest rate updates: While the Fed chose not to raise interest rates in its most recent meeting, it indicated that a December hike is definitely still on the table.
When announcing its latest interest rate perspectives, the Federal Reserve also indicated that it would begin to reduce its balance sheet next month.
But, what does that really mean - and why does the Fed have a $4.2 trillion balance sheet, anyway?