By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The S&P 500 struggled for direction Wednesday, but remained near record highs as tech gains offset weakness in materials and industrials just as the Federal Reserve’s March meeting minutes continued to signal that easy monetary policy is here to stay.
The rose 0.18%, the fell 0.1%, or 10 points, and the was up 0.1%.
The Federal Reserve minutes drew a muted a reaction in markets and didn’t offer any new clues on monetary policy.
Fed policymakers acknowledged progress on the economy, but continued to back the ongoing pace of monetary support, saying substantial progress on the recovery will likely take “some time.”
Tech stocks gave up some of their gains as investors weighed falling U.S. bond yields against worries that stocks have run up too fast and are due a correction.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) traded in the green.
Amazon late-Tuesday pledged its support for President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan and said it was ready to back the proposed corporate tax hike to fund the package. Biden did signal that he was willing to negotiate on a proposed increase in taxes.
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:) was flat despite receiving an upgraded by Wolfe Research to outperform from peer perform as its recent declines has made its valuation attractive.
Sentiment on the economy was boosted following a bold call from JPMorgan (NYSE:) chief executive Jamie Dimon.
“I have little doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE, a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine and euphoria around the end of the pandemic, the U.S. economy will likely boom,” Dimon said in an annual letter to shareholders. “This boom could easily run into 2023 because all the spending could extend well into 2023.”
Energy stocks were supported by a rebound in oil prices following data showing weekly inventories fell more than expected last week.
On the vaccine front, AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) suffered a setback somewhat after the UK health regulator MHRA said it would offer an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged below 30, due to very rare cases of blood clotting.
Cruise lines were in focus, meanwhile, after Carnival (NYSE:) reported a wider-than-expected fiscal first quarter loss, but signaled demand was healthy as booking volumes rose more than 90% sequentially.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE:) and Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:) were up about 2%.
In other news, Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:) gave up its intraday gains, falling more than 2%, despite the plant-based food company announcing the opening its first manufacturing plant in China.
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