The S&P 500 rose Wednesday, attempting to recover from a three-day decline, as investors awaited more clarity on the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 41 points, or 0.13%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.25%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.54%. The Dow and the S&P 500 were higher after three straight sessions of declines.
Consumer discretionary, real estate and communication services were the best-performing sectors in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, utilities, materials and consumer staples were market laggards.
Cruise lines were among the best-performing stocks in the broader market index. The Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings jumped 8%, Royal Caribbean Group advanced 7%, and Carnival was 5% higher.
In contrast, Advanced Auto Parts was the worst-performer in the S&P 500, down 9.5%, after missing earnings expectations and lowering its full-year guidance.
Investors are awaiting the three-day Jackson Hole economic symposium that starts Thursday with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome 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.
Key economic reports through the remainder of the week include jobless claims on Thursday and the personal consumption expenditures price index on Friday. The Fed keeps a close eye on the PCE report.
“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,” Erickson added.