US Stocks Edge Higher 12/11 09:24
U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday as investors watch
closely for developments on trade and await the Federal Reserve's latest
announcement on interest rate policy.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday as
investors watch closely for developments on trade and await the Federal
Reserve's latest announcement on interest rate policy.
Wall Street is hoping for enough progress on trade negotiations this week to
avoid a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods that include phones, laptops and
other popular products. The new tariffs are scheduled to take effect Sunday and
would mark an escalation in the trade war as the world's two largest economies
continue pushing for a deal.
Reports have suggested that the new tariffs could be delayed. Tension over
the next move has made for choppy trading this week that has pushed the major
Health care and technology companies led the gains. Vertex Pharmaceuticals
rose 1.6% and Micron climbed 3.1%.
Real estate and energy companies lagged the market. The yield on the 10-year
Treasury slipped to 1.82% from 1.83% late Tuesday.
Some companies were making big moves after releasing earnings reports.
Ollie's Bargain Outlet surged 17.2% after reporting surprisingly good
third-quarter profit and revenue. GameStop plunged 13.6% after issuing a
surprising loss and cutting its profit forecast.
Boeing shed 2%. Home Depot slipped 1.2% after giving investors a weak sales
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points, or 0.1%, to 27,895. The Nasdaq
rose 0.4%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.2%
European and Asian markets were mixed.
FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve is set to leave its benchmark interest rate
unchanged Wednesday and will likely signal that it expects rates to remain low
well into next year despite a robust job market. The central bank reversed
course in 2019 and cut rates three times to help support an economy threatened
by trade disputes and slower growth. Many economists have said they think
sluggish growth will even compel the Fed to cut rates at least once in 2020.
LOW GAS: Chevron fell just under 1% after the energy company warned
investors about a potential charge of up to $11 billion because of lower
long-term prices for oil and natural gas. The huge fourth-quarter write-down
underscores the challenge posed by rising production that has prevented energy
prices from increasing sharply during a time of increasing global demand.