Dow’s gains firm but broader market fights to extend rally ahead of policy statement

U.S. stocks were mixed in up-and-down trade on Thursday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 trading slightly lower, while the Dow gained some buoyancy ahead of a monetary-policy statement from the Federal Reserve, which could offer fresh clues on the pace of rate increases.

How did the benchmarks perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.28% was up 75 points, or 0.3%, at 26,253, while the S&P 500  SPX, -0.07% was virtually unchanged at 2,812 and the Nasdaq Composite Index NQZ8, -0.51%  fell 0.3%, or 20 points, to 7,550.

On Wednesday, the Dow rose 545.25 points, or 2.1%, to 26,180, while the S&P climbed 58.43 points, or 2.1%, to 2,813. The Nasdaq jumped 194.79 points, or 2.6%, to 7,570.75. All three indexes ended the day just shy of their intraday highs and booked their best daily gains in weeks.

Wednesday’s performance also marked the Dow and S&P 500’s best day since Oct. 16, while the Nasdaq enjoyed its best session since Oct. 25.

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 been mostly climbed in the past few days, with midterm election results removing on measure of uncertainty that had weighed on investor sentiment.

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—fresh jitters around Fed 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, where it will likely delay a move to raise interest rates until December. Still, the central bank will deliver insights about the

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