Stocks Hover Near Records as Fed Minutes Loom

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Visitors ride the West Coast Racers roller coaster at the theme park Six Flags Magic Mountain on the day of the park’s reopening, April 1, 2021, in Valencia, California.

AFP via Getty Images

Stocks ticked lower in midday trading Wednesday, as investors waited on the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

 slid 52 points, or 0.1%, before noon while the 

S&P 500

 was flat and the 

Nasdaq Composite

 was down 0.1%.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday offered a rosier outlook for global economic growth, due to a faster U.S. rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic, but also cautioned over a dangerous divergence in recovery prospects around the world and potential financial risks.

Investors will be keeping close watch on the FOMC minutes due later in the day, with no big surprises expected, but much attention focused over what the central bank might say about inflation or the possibility of an early interest rate increase.

“There are unlikely to be any surprises, although investors will be scanning for further insights about recent inflation concerns and hints at an early rate hike,” writes Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axi.


Asian equities had a mixed day, with the

China CSI 300 index

dropping 0.7%, but

India’s Sensex

rising 0.9%. The

Stoxx Europe 600

was down 0.1% after reaching a record close on Tuesday.


FTSE 100 index

rose 1% as shares of energy giant


climbed 0.9%, a day after the oil major said it would hit its net debt target almost a year earlier than expected. Gains for shares of

Royal Dutch Shell

were less pronounced after the rival energy giant’s first-quarter guidance disappointed.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked up to 1.64%, while oil prices edged lower.

Among stocks on the move, shares of cruise operator


(ticker: CCL) rose 3.2%, while

Norwegian Cruise Line

(NCLH) shares added 2.2%.

On Tuesday, Carnival threatened to move ships to non-U.S. ports. But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Jade Fulce told Bloomberg that U.S. cruises could restart with restrictions by midsummer, in a response to questions regarding Carnival. 


(TOSYY) gained 1.4%, after the Tokyo-based technology giant confirmed it had received a preliminary deal proposal. Japanese newspaper Nikkei said international private equity and credit company CVC Capital Partners was the suitor, considering a 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) bid.

Shares of 


 (LAZ) rose 2.4% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

L Brands

 (LB) shares rose 4% after UBS upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral. 

Abercrombie & Fitch

 (ANF) shares rose 5.6% after UBS upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral.

Fox Corporation

 (FOX) shares were flat despite Wells Fargo upgrading the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight.

Credit Suisse

 (CS) shares were down 0.9% after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform.


 (VIAC) slid 0.9% despite getting upgraded to Outperform from Peer Perform at Wolfe Research.

Write to Carleton English at [email protected]

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