Stocks Edge Higher in Early US Trading as Investors Await Fed While FedEx Earnings Adds Support

in LeoFinance14 days ago

images (42).jpeg

The US equity benchmarks ticked higher in early trading on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's latest interest-rate statement and Chair Jerome Powell's comments on the world's biggest economy as it continues to grapple with the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stocks were bolstered by earnings from FedEx (FDX). The logistics firm climbed 7.2% after reporting late Tuesday fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed the Street's expectations. Rival delivery company United Parcel Service (UPS) gained 1.3%.

But attention was also focused on the Fed, which is expected to keep the target range on the benchmark Fed funds rate on hold at 0% to 0.25% as the US continues to feel the impact of COVID-19. Powell will also give comments after the release of the decision that comes after he outlined a new approach to inflation targeting that could indicate rates will be kept lower for longer to shore up the economy.

Wednesday's data showed retail sales for August rose 0.6% month-on-month, missing the Econoday consensus for 1% growth. Weekly mortgage applications slipped 2.5% through Sept. 11 from a week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 sectors were mostly higher shortly after the opening bell, with health care and real estate both adding 0.5% while utilities slipped 0.3%. Energy climbed 0.6% as prices for crude oil rose, with West Texas Intermediate up 2.5% to $39.26 a barrel as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said personnel have been evacuated from 23% of the manned oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Sally.

In company news, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO) rose 2.9% after saying in a filing Tuesday it will cut its workforce in Europe and Latin America. Ossen Innovation (OSN) jumped 15% after the steel materials maker received a non-binding takeover offer.

ADT (ADT) dropped 12% after pricing a secondary public stock offering of 43.5 million shares at $10 each. Brady (BRC) fell 7% as the maker of safety products reported year-on-year declines in fiscal fourth quarter earnings and sales.

In morning trading, the S&P 500 was up 0.3%, the Dow was 0.2% stronger and the Nasdaq added 0.1%.