Stocks end higher on Wednesday, Dow Jones and S&P 500 slide over three days

Stocks rose on Wednesday, dragging the Dow Jones and S&P 500 down three days, as investors awaited clarity on the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 59.64 points, or 0.18%, to 32,969.23. The S&P 500 climbed 0.29% to 4,140.77 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.41% to 12,431.53.

Energy, real estate and financials were the best performing sectors in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, information technology, healthcare and consumer staples lagged.

Cruise lines were among the best performing stocks in the broader stock index. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings jumped 8.4%, Royal Caribbean Group rose 7.6% and Carnival rose 5.3%.

In contrast, Advanced Auto Parts was the worst performer in the S&P 500, down 9.6%, after missing earnings expectations and lowering its full-year guidance.

Investors await the three-day Jackson Hole economic symposium that begins Thursday with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell due to speak Friday morning. Fed watchers expect it to bolster the central bank’s goal of crushing inflation and controlling expectations for future price gains.

Key economic reports for the rest of the week include jobless claims on Thursday and the personal consumption expenditure price index on Friday. The Fed is closely watching the PCE report, one of its favorite measures of inflation.

“We’re really in a situation where the markets are between and between,” said Lisa Erickson of US Bank Wealth Management.

“He’s really expecting some bigger 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, floating modestly up and down with the bias down,” Erickson added.

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