Wall Street ended another volatile trading day on Wednesday with a bumpy finish in major stock indexes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.
The S&P 500 rallied 0.2% after hovering between small gains and losses for most of the morning. The benchmark index recovered its positions in the last hour of trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1% after falling 0.6% in the beginning. The Nasdaq rose 0.4% as technology stocks rose in the afternoon.
The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its October policy meeting, which shows that Fed officials discussed how they would “not hesitate” to take appropriate action to address inflationary pressures. this created risks for the economy.
The minutes also showed that Fed officials argued that the surge in inflation this year was still likely to be temporary, while acknowledging that the rise in prices was more significant than expected. Minutes covered a meeting at which the Fed voted to take first steps to phase out the massive support it provided to an economy struggling to recover from the global pandemic.
Supply chain issues and inflation pressures have been key concerns for a wide range of industries. Many companies have warned that they are having trouble meeting demand and that they are dealing with higher raw material costs. These higher costs are passed on to consumers who pay more for everything from food and other food items to a wide variety of retail products.
“You have an environment where supply chain problems start to tire people,” said Eric Friedman, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management.
The S&P 500 Index rose 10.76 points to 4,701.46 points. The index reached an all-time high last Thursday. The Dow fell 9.42 points to 35,804.38, while the Nasdaq added 70.09 points to 15,845.23.
Small stocks also rose. The Russell 2000 Index added 3.60 points, or 0.2%, to 2331.46 points.
Slightly more stocks in the S&P 500 were down than up. The gains in technology, real estate and energy stocks outweighed the downturn in banks, materials companies and other market sectors.
Investors followed the latest batch of quarterly reports. PC maker HP rose 10.10%, the largest gain in the S&P 500 after reporting strong financial results. Autodesk shares fell 15.5% after the software company warned investors that the pace of its recovery was dependent on supply chain problems and inflation pressures.
A number of retailers who rely on direct consumer spending have also become volatile. Etsy’s online craft market grew 6.2%. The gap fell 24.1% after the apparel chain reported supply chain problems weighed down its third-quarter profit and revenue. Department store operator Nordstrom fell 29% after reporting weak third-quarter earnings.
Energy stocks rose as crude oil prices remained relatively stable and natural gas prices rose. Devon Energy shares rose 3.8%.
Bond yields were mixed. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.64% from 1.67% on Tuesday night. This has put pressure on banks, which rely on higher yields to charge higher interest rates on loans. JPMorgan Chase shares fell 0.8%.
Latest consumer spending information showed a rebound in October with a rise of 1.3%, according to data from the Commerce Department. This is a little more than double the amount in September.
Otherwise, this week was calm and short for investors. Markets will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early on Friday.
Investors received some upbeat economic news on Wednesday.
The Commerce Department reported that the US economy has slowed. to a modest 2.1% annual growth rate in October-December, which is slightly better than its first estimate. But economists are forecasting a sustained rebound in the current quarter unless rising inflation and the recent surge in COVID cases undermine activity.
The Labor Department said the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits has plummeted. last week to its lowest level in more than half a century, another sign that the U.S. job market is rapidly recovering from last year’s coronavirus-related recession.