- House increases debt ceiling
- Bullard 'optimistic' about growth
- China trade surplus widens
Dow Jones: -0.09%
S&P 500: 0.11%
US stocks were little changed on Wednesday afternoon, with the benchmark S&P 500
rising for the fifth straight day as investors reacted to comments from Federal Reserve policymakers and upbeat data from China.
Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives has passed an increase in the government's borrowing limit. The House voted 221-201 to waive the $17.2trn debt limit for just over a year, after Republicans gave up on their attempt to win concessions from the Democrats in return.
"In the see-saw that is the 'risk on and risk off' view that the markets have been taking recently, the risk is most definitely back on again," said Farhan Admad, Trader at Tradenext.
Markets were extending Tuesday's strong performance after new Fed Chair Janet Yellen expressed her commitment to continue tapering stimulus in the face of an improving labour market.
During the six hour Question&Answer session on Capitol Hill she indicated that only a "notable" change in the economic outlook would lead the US central bank to consider a pause in 'tapering'.
Meanwhile, investors were also focusing on remarks made by St Louis Fed President James Bullard who said he was "optimistic about the prospects for this year" and that growth could come in at 3% "or better". Speaking on a panel at the New York Stock Exchange, he also said that the Fed will likely return to more "traditional" monetary policy given the recent drop in the unemployment rate.
Sentiment was also lifted today by a higher-than-expected trade surplus in China after exports rose by more than expected in January. Export growth accelerated to 10.6% from 4.3% previously, while import growth rose to 10% from 8.3%. This resulted in a trade balance of $31.86bn, surprising analysts who had expected a slight decline from the $25.64bn surplus registered in December.
Twitter advanced strongly after saying it is testing a redesign of its profile pages that mimics the look of Facebook's timelines.
Tractors and agriculture machinery giant Deere & Co. fell after saying that demand for farm equipment is "moderating" as it predicted a slowdown in sales.
Amazon.com Inc. declined after UBS lowered its rating of the online retailer to 'neutral' from 'buy'.
FireEye dropped as the technology company estimated a first-quarter loss that trailed market expectations.
Front month West Texas crude futures edged higher by 0.34% to the $100.27/barrel mark on NYMEX.
10-year US Treasury yields increased by four basis points to 2.76%.
S&P 500 - Risers
TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $91.90 +9.14%
DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc (DVA) $67.47 +4.88%
Windstream Holdings Inc (WIN) $7.78 +4.43%
Fossil Group Inc (FOSL) $121.89 +4.22%
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) $22.25 +3.51%
Legg Mason Inc. (LM) $43.84 +3.32%
Fluor Corp. (FLR) $80.23 +3.32%
Nucor Corp. (NUE) $50.45 +3.17%
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) $50.30 +2.86%
Zoetis Inc (ZTS) $29.94 +2.78%
S&P 500 - Fallers
Lorillard Inc. (LO) $46.98 -5.95%
Intuit Inc. (INTU) $69.85 -3.93%
Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $349.25 -3.47%
Williams Companies Inc. (WMB) $40.73 -2.47%
Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) $24.82 -2.36%
SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) $37.45 -2.22%
Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) $53.31 -2.21%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $319.80 -2.06%
Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) $36.98 -2.00%
Sealed Air Corp. (SEE) $32.11 -1.92%
Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $96.32 +1.43%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $37.52 +0.94%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $181.19 +0.83%
Visa Inc. (V) $223.58 +0.56%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $22.82 +0.46%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $24.57 +0.39%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $75.07 +0.36%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $91.16 +0.35%
American Express Co. (AXP) $88.86 +0.32%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $57.61 +0.31%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Boeing Co. (BA) $128.35 -1.39%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $77.75 -1.38%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $112.10 -1.30%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $54.97 -1.30%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $82.21 -1.20%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $63.63 -1.03%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $31.73 -0.46%
3M Co. (MMM) $130.39 -0.45%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $92.59 -0.41%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $112.55 -0.36%