Stocks were moving higher Wednesday, keeping the market near record levels as earnings season winds down and investors wait to hear from the Federal Reserve.
The major indexes bounced back from modest declines in the early going. S&P 500 index was up 0.3% as of 1:18 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq was 0.2% higher.
Bank stocks were among the better performers, helped by a rise in bond yields. The KBW Bank Index, which tracks the 24 largest banks in the country, was up 2%. JPMorgan rose 2.2%.
Industrial stocks and a variety of retailers, homebuilders and other companies that rely on consumer spending also helped lift the market. Deere & Co. was up 2.9%, D.R. Horton rose 1.8%, Domino's Pizza added 1.8% and Caesar's Entertainment picked up 3.8%. Health care and technology stocks lagged the rest of the market.
Small company stocks continued to do better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 index was up 0.8%.
The benchmark S&P 500 is within striking distance of a five-day winning streak and on pace for a 1.3% weekly gain after closing out last week with its first weekly loss in three weeks.
Investors seem to be in a holding pattern as Wall Street waits to hear from policymakers at the Federal Reserve later this week when they meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their annual convention.
Traders are betting that Fed officials will continue to remain in “wait and see” mode regarding inflation, since most policymakers believe any inflation earlier this year would be temporary and the rise in COVID-19 cases has made some economists worried. Meanwhile there are other Fed officials that say the U.S. central bank needs to start winding down bond purchases to combat inflation.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak Friday at the two-day gathering, which starts Thursday.
With little else to go on, and with the August slowdown in full effect, stocks are not likely to move much in the next few days.
Dick's Sporting Goods jumped 16.2% after reporting a surge in quarterly sales and a special dividend. Technology giant Salesforce will report its results after the closing bell.
Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.33% from 1.28% the day before.