Stocks were little changed Wednesday as investors awaited more guidance from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the central bank’s fight against inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 10 points, or 0.03%. The S&P 500 fell 0.01%, and the Nasdaq Composite was higher by 0.08%.
Energy was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, up 0.7%. Meanwhile, information technology and financials lagged in the broader market index.
Intuit was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500, up 5.6%, following a strong earnings report. Advanced Auto Parts was the worst-performing stock, down 9.6%, after missing earnings expectations and lowering its full-year guidance.
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 declined for a third straight session Tuesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished Tuesday little changed. The S&P 500 is about flat on the month after rallying more than 9% in July.
The three-day Jackson Hole economic symposium starts Thursday with Powell slated to speak Friday morning. Fed watchers expect him to reinforce the central bank’s goal of squashing inflation and keeping expectations about future price gains in check.
“We’re really in a situation where the markets are betwixt and between,” said U.S. Bank Wealth Management’s Lisa Erickson.
“It’s really waiting for some more significant news at the end of the week with the Jackson Hole speech and the PCE, so what we’re really seeing is just investors, I think, modestly floating up and down with the downward bias.”