Stocks have moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Wednesday, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq is bucking the uptrend after posting strong gains in the two previous sessions. The Dow is showing a notable advance after ending Tuesday’s trading nearly flat.
The Dow is up 213.06 points or 0.8 percent at 28,208.66 and the S&P 500 is up 14.38 points or 0.4 percent at 3,415.58, while the Nasdaq is nearly unchanged, up just 0.63 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 11,190.96.
The strength on Wall Street comes as traders expect a dovish monetary policy announcement from the Federal Reserve later this afternoon.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but investors are likely to pay close attention to any tweaks to the accompanying statement.
The central bank’s latest economic projections may also attract attention, with many economists expecting the Fed to forecast near-zero rates for years to come.
The Fed may seek to calm the markets following recent volatility, although some analysts have questioned how much more the central bank can do given its ultra-loose monetary policy.
The Dow is also benefiting from strong gains by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Chevron (CVX) and Goldman Sachs (GS).
Meanwhile, a notable decline by shares of Apple (AAPL) is weighing on the Nasdaq, with the tech giant slumping by 1.5 percent.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing a notable slowdown in the pace of retail sales growth in the month of August.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 0.6 percent in August after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.9 percent in July.
Economists had expected retail sales to surge up by 1.0 percent compared to the 1.2 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.