Stocks moved mostly higher on Wednesday ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. The Nasdaq was the outperformer, rising over 0.4%, while the S&P 500 climbed over 0.2% but the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped over 9 points.
U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early on Friday in a shortened session.
Here's how the market settled on Wednesday:
S&P 500 Index
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Nasdaq Composite Index
FOMC minutes show flexibility toward future monetary policy:
The Federal Reserve released the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes for its November meeting on Wednesday, with policymakers signalling that they are committed to remaining flexible in their policy moving forward.
"The Committee was prepared to adjust the pace of purchases if warranted by changes in the economic outlook and agreed that the post-meeting statement should say so," the minutes said. "Members agreed that the addition of this language would acknowledge the importance of maintaining flexibility to adjust the stance of policy as appropriate in response to changes in the Committee's outlook for the labor market and inflation."
New U.S. homes sales rose last month:
Sales of new homes in the United States rose by 0.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 745,000, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday. That gain extended September's 7.1% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 742,000. However, new homes sales were down 23% compared to last year.
By region, sales rose 11% in the Midwest and 0.2% in the South, but fell 11.8% in the Northeast and 1.1% in the West.
Personal spending rates increased last month despite inflation worries:
Personal spending rates increased in October even amid consumer inflation concerns, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis' new report published Wednesday.
Personal spending rose by 1.3% in October month-over-month, which was much faster than the 0.6% rate posted in September. Personal income, meanwhile, rebounded after dropping last month, rising by 0.5% versus the 0.2% increased expected. Income fell by 1.0% month-on-month in September.
Personal consumption expenditures rise at highest rate in decades last month:
A new print on personal consumption expenditures, a key inflation gauge, rose at its fastest rate in more than three decades in October, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis' report published Wednesday.
PCE rose 5.0% in October over last year, accelerating from September's 4.4% rise and marking the fastest annual growth rate since 1990. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, core PCE was up 4.1% in October, also accelerating from September's revised 3.7% increase and marking the fastest annual raise since 1991.
Jobless claims reach lowest total since 1969:
New jobless claims fell far more than expected last week to the lowest level since November 1969, according to the Labor Department's latest print published Wednesday.
Initial unemployment claims totaled 199,000 for the week ended November 20, better than the 260,000 new claims expected and the prior week's revised total of 270,000.
Continuing jobless also fell, but came in higher than expected for the week ended November 13, totaling 2.049 million. That total was down from the previous week's revised total of 2.109 million.
Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell:
S&P 500 Index: -0.46% or -21.59 points to 4,669.11
Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.59% or -209.61 points to 35,604.19
Nasdaq Composite Index: -0.73% or -114.56 points to 15,658.21