Modest Strength Visible On Wall Street In Mid-Day Trading

With traders looking ahead to tomorrow’s monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve, stocks are turning in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Tuesday. Despite the choppy trading, the Dow reached a new record intraday high.

Currently, the major averages are posting modest gains. The Dow is up 37.20 points or 0.2 percent at 22,368.55, the Nasdaq is up 2.52 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 6,457.16 and the S&P 500 is up 2.55 points or 0.1 percent at 2,506.42.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are waiting on the Fed’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders are likely to pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for policy.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected decrease in new residential construction in the month of August.

The report said housing starts fell by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.180 million in August from a revised 1.190 million in July. Economists had expected housing starts to jump by 1.7 percent.

A separate report released by the Labor Department showed increases in U.S. import and export prices in the month of August.

The Labor Department said imports prices climbed by 0.6 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July. Economists had expected import prices to rise by 0.4 percent.

The report said export prices also rose by 0.6 percent in August following a 0.5 percent increase in the previous month. Export prices had been expected to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Sector News

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

Telecom stocks are seeing notable strength, however, with the NYSE Arca Telecom Index climbing by 1.1 percent. The index is on pace to end the session at its best closing level in a month.

Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) are posting standout gains following a report from CNBC that the companies are in active talks about a merger.

Financial stocks have also moved to the upside on the day, while weakness visible among biotechnology and healthcare stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index dipped by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index…

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