Dow bucks trend to rise as broader market slides ahead of policy statement

The Dow Jones Industrial Average remained in positive territory Thursday as stocks traded mostly lower ahead of a monetary-policy statement from the Federal Reserve, which could offer fresh clues on the pace of rate increases.

How are benchmarks performing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.15% gained 35 points, or 0.1%, to 26,21, while the S&P 500  SPX, -0.16% shed 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,808 and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.42% fell 35 points, or 0.5%, to 7,534.

On Wednesday, all three indexes ended the session just shy of their intraday highs and booked their best daily gains in weeks. The Dow and S&P 500 have thus far risen on three straight sessions, while the Nasdaq has booked back-to-back advances.

What’s driving the market?

Stocks have mostly risen in the past few days, with midterm election results removing a measure of uncertainty that had weighed on investors’ sentiment.

See: Here’s why stock investors say ‘gridlock is good’ after midterms deliver split Congress

Although investors will continue to process the long-term implications of Democrats wresting control of the House of Representatives and Republicans retaining a majority in the Senate—a widely expected outcome—the Fed’s monetary policy will likely draw the lion’s share of Wall Street’s focus.

Read: Fed to remain stoic in face of market gyrations

The Fed concludes its two-day policy sit-down at 2 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday. The central bank is not expected to announce a change to its current policy until December but the Fed is expected to provide insights into the economy, its expectations for inflation and any lingering effects of a protracted trade spat between the U.S. and China.

Meanwhile, quarterly earnings continue to roll in. Around 87% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported third-quarter results so far, with average earnings growth of over

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