After trending higher over the past several sessions, stocks are turning in a lackluster performance during trading on Wednesday. The major averages have spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages are narrowly mixed. While the Nasdaq is down 19.50 points or 0.1 percent at 13,620.36, the S&P 500 is up 2.43 points or 0.1 percent at 4,380.81 and the Dow is up 30.95 points or 0.1 percent at 34,183.55.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves following the recent upward move.
The Nasdaq and S&P 500 have seen their longest winning streaks since November 2021, while the Dow and the S&P 500 ended Tuesday’s trading at their best closing levels in over a month.
Optimism the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates has contributed to recent strength on Wall Street, leading traders to keep a close eye on remarks by Fed Chair Jerome Powell this morning.
However, Powell refrained from specifically addressing monetary policy, focusing his remarks on praise for the work by the Fed’s Division of Research and Statistics.
The Fed chief is also scheduled to participate in a policy panel discussion before the 24th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference on Thursday.
Later in the day, trading may be impacted by reaction to the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $40 billion worth of ten-year notes.
The auction results could have an impact on treasury yields, which have recently been a key driver of trading on Wall Street.
Reflecting the lackluster performance by the broader markets, most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day.
Utilities stocks are seeing considerable weakness, however, with the Dow Jones Utility Average falling by 1.3 percent.
Notable weakness is also visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.
Gold and brokerage stocks have also moved to the downside, while airline stocks have moved sharply higher, driving the NYSE Arca Airline Index up by 2.1 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has jumped by 1.0 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength, extending the surge seen on Tuesday. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.7 basis points at 4.554 percent.
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