U.S. Stocks Turning In Mixed Performance In Cautious Trade

U.S. stocks are turning in a mixed performance on Wednesday, with investors largely making cautious moves amid concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The major averages are seeing a choppy ride today. The Dow, which climbed to 35,133.56 in early trades and dropped to 34,842.80 later on in the session, is up 15.15 or 0.4 percent at 34,961.54. The S&P 500 is down 1.66 points or 0.04 percent at 4,436.20, while the Nasdaq is down 49.72 points or 0.36 percent at 13,581.33.

Intel is down by about 2.3 percent. Alphabet shares are down 0.6 percent. Meta Platforms is lowr by about 1.25 percent, while Apple is up with a modest gain.

Goldman Sachs, IBM, Caterpillar, P&G and McDonalds are modestly lower.

Travelers Companies and Home Depot are up 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Nike, Chevron, Microsoft and Coca-Cola are up with modest gains.

The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting on July 25 & 26, released this afternoon, show “most of the central bank officials continued to see significant upside risks to inflation, which could require further tightening of monetary policy.”

The minutes also showed that a few participants were hesitant to embrace further hikes, on concerns that the tightening in financial conditions since the beginning of last year could “prove more substantial than anticipated.”

The central bank lifted its benchmark rate to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent last month, the highest level in 22 years.

In economic news, industrial production in the U.S. fell by 0.2 percent in July, extending the 0.4 percent drop in the previous month.

Manufacturing production in the U.S. decreased 0.7 percent in July, compared to the same month last year.

Another data said building permits in the U.S. edged up 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.442 million in July. Meanwhile, housing starts rose by 3.9 percent month-on-month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rae of 1.452 million in July.

In overseas trading, Asian stocks retreated on Wednesday, with uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s future rate hike path, more disappointing Chinese economic data and fresh concerns over the health of the U.S. banking sector keeping investors nervous.

The major European markets ended mixed on Wednesday, with investors assessing UK inflation data, and the outlook for interest rates. Lingering concerns about the health of China’s economy continued to weigh on sentiment.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.06 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 ended down 0.44 percent, and France’s CAC 40 shed 0.1 percent, while Germany’s DAX crept up 0.14 percent.

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