Stocks have turned mixed over the course of morning trading on Wednesday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq has reached a new record high, the Dow and the S&P 500 have extended the pullback seen in the previous session.
The Nasdaq has pulled back off its the record intraday high set in early trading but remains up 52.59 points or 0.5 percent at 10,006.34.
Meanwhile, the Dow and the S&P 500 have climbed off their lows in recent trading but remain in the red. The Dow is down 198.24 points or 0.7 percent at 27,074.06 and the S&P 500 is down 11.38 points or 0.4 percent at 3,195.80.
The continued advance by the Nasdaq partly reflects notable gains by big-name tech companies like Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL), which are both up by 1.6 percent after reaching new record intraday highs.
Overall trading activity is somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates and policy unchanged, but traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about future policy changes.
Some investors are hoping the Fed will provide more clarity about the unlimited bond purchasing programs announced in March.
The central bank is also due to provide its first economic projections since the coronavirus crisis began, which could impact traders’ generally optimistic outlook for a quick economic recovery.
In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest decrease in consumer prices in the month of May.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index edged down by 0.1 percent in May after slumping by 0.8 percent in April. Economists had expected consumer prices to come in unchanged.
The dip in consumer prices came as lower prices for motor vehicle insurance, energy, and apparel more than offset increases in prices for food and shelter.
The report said core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, also slipped by 0.1 percent in May after falling by 0.4 percent in April. Core prices were also expected to come in unchanged.
Oil service stocks are extending the sharp pullback seen in the previous session, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 8.8 percent. The index continues to give back ground after ending Monday’s session at a three-month closing high.
The sell-off by oil service stocks comes amid a notable decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for July delivery slumping $0.90 to $38.24 a barrel. Other energy stocks are also moving lower along with crude oil prices.
Considerable weakness is also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 4 percent nosedive by the KBW Bank Index. The index also set a three-month closing high on Monday.
Transportation, commercial real estate and housing stocks are also seeing significant weakness, continuing to give back ground following recent strength.
On the other hand, software and semiconductor stocks have shown strong moves to the upside, contributing to the advance by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.9 percent.
In the bond markets, treasuries are extending the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.3 basis points at 0.786 percent.
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