08 April, 2021
Major averages hovered near unchanged on Wednesday, with the S&P closing up slightly after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent meeting that reinforced the U.S. central bank’s position to remain patient before raising rates. The major indexes held near unchanged for most of the day but the S&P 500 briefly climbed to a session high after the minutes, in which Fed officials said it would likely take “some time” for substantial further progress on goals of maximum employment and stable prices. But the gains were minor and short-lived, as many market participants question the ability to hold off on a rate hike for as long as the Fed has stated. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note moved higher late in the session. Still, it remained below a 14-month high of 1.776% hit on March 30. The recent pullback in yields has helped growth names and lifted technology and communication services stocks on the day. The upcoming earnings season and progress in a multi trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal could decide Wall Street’s path forward. Analysts have raised expectations for first-quarter S&P 500 earnings to increase to 24.2%, according to Refinitiv IBES data as of April 1, versus 21% forecast on Feb. 5.