Wall Street’s main indexes made small gains on Wednesday, with growth stocks leading the way, as Treasury yields slipped after a recent rally.
* The tech-heavy Nasdaq led gains among major indices after a seven-session losing streak, the first since November 2016.
* The stock sell-off, triggered in August by aggressive comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, has continued in recent days amid signs of an economic slowdown in Europe and China, and determined moves by major central banks to control inflation.
* But this month’s data highlighted the strength of the US economy, prompting traders to bet on a 75 basis point interest rate hike by the Fed this month. Fed funds futures price more than 80% chance of such a move.
* The 10-year Treasury yield fell after hitting June highs earlier in the session, buoying rate-sensitive stocks such as Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) Inc and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT ).
* “I expect the markets to be very volatile … it will be a matter of what we hear from various central bankers this week and some economic data coming in,” said Shawn Cruz, chief trading strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
* “Unless we have a feeling things are going to get dramatically worse on the economic front, you should probably expect 3,900 to be a floor for the S&P 500. “
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 52.98 points, or 0.17%, at 31,198.28, while the S&P 500 was up 8.02 points, or 0.21%, at 3,916.21. The Nasdaq Composite added 39.18 points, or 0.34%, to 11,584.09.
* The S&P 500 has lost more than 9% from its August high and is trading less than 7% from its mid-June low, when it hit a year-low.
* Powell’s speech on Thursday and US consumer price data next week will be scrutinized for clues on the path of monetary policy.
* Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were trading higher. The energy index fell 2.2% as oil prices slumped on demand fears.