USA stock indexes overcame an afternoon wobble to close mostly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would start reducing its huge bond portfolio next month and was still on track to raise interest rates later this year.
At 12:33 p.m. ET (1633 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 44.65 points, or 0.2 percent, at 22,376, the S&P 500 was up 3.79 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,507.66 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 9.73 points, or 0.15 percent, at 6,464.37. The S&P 500 gained 0.29 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,506.94.
The S&P and the Dow snapped a run of record closing highs and Apple was the biggest drag on the three major indexes with a 1.7 percent drop on worries about demand for its latest smartphone.
Industrial companies, including airlines, led the gainers Wednesday. "With the things I'm trading today, just nodding at the stock moves prices". A separate report on business confidence showed optimism among chief executive officers reached its highest level since early 2014.
"The data that has been coming out from the US has been a bit of a mixed bag.so I think it is maybe time for the Fed to take a break", said Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, who doubts the central bank will increase rates again this year.
Many have been skeptical the Fed will increase rates again in 2017, citing subdued inflation readings and concerns around the economic impact of major summer storms. But traders will be listening for word on whether the central bank is ready to begin shrinking its multitrillion-dollar stockpile of bonds.
"If I'd be watching anything, it would be primarily with regard to their plans to raise rates in December, which now the market has a 50-50 odds on", said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
"That's the most important aspect here", Blancato said.
"If the markets actually thought there will be a nuclear war with North Korea, they wouldn't be trading where they are now". Officials also said they plan to start unwinding the at the US central bank's $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month by reducing its bond holdings, which will gradually increase long-term borrowing rates.
Bond prices fell Tuesday, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.24 percent from 2.23 percent late Monday. Such a move by the Fed would likely push long-term interest rates up.
Shares of wireless carriers T-Mobile rose 4.4 percent and Sprint 8.6 percent, following a report that the companies were in active merger talks. Wells Fargo & Co. rose 65 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $53.36.
The weakness among oil service stocks comes amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil, with crude for November delivery slipping USD0.12 to USD50.57 a barrel.