Stocks finished higher Wednesday. The Dow added 91 points to 23,879 while the S&P 500 gained 10 points to 2,584. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 60 points to 6,957.
The major averages extended gains as a perceived “dovish” stance from the Federal Reserve boosted investor sentiment. The minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting indicated policymakers are willing to take a “patient” approach to future rate hikes. However, market gains remained capped as investors kept a watchful eye on Capitol Hill after a “disappointing” meeting in which Senate leaders met with President Trump in an attempt to end the partial government shutdown. On the data front, mortgage applications jumped 23.5% while refinancing applications spiked 35% in the period ending Jan 4th.
Energy shares paced gains as Chevron climbed 1.3% to $113.27. Technology stocks also outperformed as Apple added 1.7% to $153.31 and Microsoft advanced 1.4% to $104.27. Consumer Staples underperformed as Constellation Brands tumbled 12.4% to $150.94 after the adult beverage distributor provided weaker than expected forward guidance. In other earnings news, Lennar Corp jumped 7.9% to $46.29 after the home-builder advised it’s seeing increased buyer traffic as rates have eased from multi-year highs.
Breadth was positive on issues by 2:1 on both the NYSE and Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 4.0 billion shares.
Treasuries were mixed with the yield on the 10-year note off one basis point at 2.72%. In commodities, WTI crude climbed 4.9% to $52.24/barrel, the eight consecutive daily advance. COMEX gold added 0.6% to $1,294.00/ounce amid a weaker dollar.