US shares edge up slightly in midday trading as investors evaluate economic data, await Fed minutes

US stock indexes trimmed gains in midday trading on Wednesday as investors digested a slew of economic data and awaited the final minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

How are stock indices traded?
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
    rose 5 points, or less than 0.1% to 34,104

  • The S&P 500 SPX index,
    gained 10 points, or 0.3% to 4,014

  • The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
    he added 61 points, or 0.6%, to 11,234

Shares closed higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 finishing up 53.64 points, or 1.4%, to 4,003.58, while the Dow industrials gained 397.82 points, or 1.4%. .2%, closing at 34,098.10. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 149.89 points, or 1.4%, to close at 11,174.40.

What drives the markets?

Shares were stable Wednesday morning, attempting to track Tuesday’s gains, which were in part driven by continued hopes that the Federal Reserve will slow the pace at which it is raising interest rates. During the midday trading session, three major indexes were mostly in the positive, with the exception of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which struggled for direction.

The minutes of the November meeting, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern, will be watched closely for clues about how much the federal funds rate needs to go up and how long it will stay there to keep inflation in check. The Fed raised its key rate by 75 basis points to a range of 3.75% to 4% at its meeting earlier this month.

See: What will stock market investors look for in the Fed minutes

“Investors may be looking for clues that they have acted prematurely or that there is actually more support for such a tightening easing and less for a higher terminal rate than they previously thought,” Craig Erlam said. OANDA Senior Market Analyst, in a note to clients.

In US economic data, US durable goods orders rose 1% in October, while jobless claims increased by 17,000 to 240,000 in the past week, the highest level since August. Meanwhile, the S&P Global Flash US Services Purchase Manager Indices fell to 46.1 from 47.8 in November. The S&P Global Flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indices fell to 47.6 from 50.7 in November. Any number below 50 reflects a shrinking economy.

The latest University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index fell to 56.8 in November and remained depressed, reflecting concerns about high inflation and the growing possibility of a recession.

U.S. new home sales rose 7.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 632,000 in October from a revised 588,000 in the prior month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

“Whether or not sales stabilize at this pace remains to be seen, but this could be an early indicator that the housing market has bottomed out at least as far as the pace of sales is concerned,” said Isfar Munir, economist at Citigroup. in New York. . “However, new home sales account for only 10% of US home sales, and we cannot draw this conclusion until existing home sales show additional evidence of stabilizing as well.”

Munir and his team also argued that the increase in new home sales contrasted with the decline seen in new home starts, since the increase was all from homes that hadn’t started yet. “Although new home starts are a bit of a forward-looking indicator for home sales, they have declined in recent months, implying a downward trend in new home sales.”

US stock exchanges will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 24, and will only reopen the following day for an abbreviated session of Black Friday, the annual end-of-year shopping event, with trading ending at 1 PM Eastern on November 19 . 25.

Laws: This is not a “close your eyes and buy something” type of market.

Bond yields held steady, with that of the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y,
trading around 3.728% and the 2-year TMUBMUSD02Y,
at 4.505%.

The spread between 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields closed Tuesday’s session minus 76 basis points, the most inverted since October 5, 1981, which some say indicates an inevitable recession.

Elsewhere, CL.1 oil prices,
were slightly lower, while NG00 natural gas futures,
rose 8% to $7.982 per million British thermal units, with European natural gas futures also rising after Russian energy giant Gazprom threatened to cut deliveries via a Ukrainian pipeline to Europe. Markets are also awaiting news of an agreement between the US and allies on a price cap for Russian oil.

Featured companies
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    rose to a seven-month high after the agriculture, construction and forestry equipment maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter sales well above expectations and provided an upbeat outlook for the full year.

  • citigroup Stock C fell after the bank was told it faced weaknesses in US banking regulators’ handling of financial data.

  • Manchester Unitedis MANU,
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  • HP Inc.
    Shares fell 0.9% on Wednesday after company executives announced on Tuesday plans to cut up to 10% of their workforce over the next few years, while issuing weaker-than-expected earnings guidance.

  • Credit Suisse
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— Barbara Kollmeyer contributed to this article


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