US stocks rose slightly Wednesday morning as investors looked to the minutes of the Federal Reserve meeting for clues about the pace of future rate hikes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 points, or 0.13%. The S&P 500 futures gained 0.03% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.11%.
Shares of Nordstrom fell more than 8% in premarket after the department store chain reaffirmed its forecast. However, Nordstrom beat earnings and sales expectations in its latest results, according to Refinitiv consensus expectations. Tesla rose 2.6% in early trading after Citi upgraded the stock from selling to neutral.
Jobless claims data came in higher than expected at 240,000 for the week ending Nov. 19, where the economist expected 225,000, indicating the job market may be weakening. At the same time, however, durable goods orders for October were stronger than expected, coming in at 1%, above the expected 0.5%.
Investors await the final minutes of the Fed meeting, expected Wednesday afternoon, for insight into the central bank’s approach to monetary policy leading up to the December meeting.
Earlier in November, the central bank approved a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point hike, bringing interest rates to their highest level since 2008. Economists predict a rise of half a percentage point in December and smaller rate hikes next year.
Wall Street is coming out of an optimistic session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising nearly 400 points on Tuesday. The S&P 500 rose 1.36% to close above 4,000 for the first time since September. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.36%.
Investors shrugged off further lockdowns in China after the country reported its first Covid deaths since May. Instead, traders focused on some strong earnings reports and bet on the likelihood of an easing of monetary policy from the Fed going forward.
“Optimistic investor psychology is driving the rally in this market,” Eugene Profit, CEO of Profit Investments, said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.”
“As we move into the next Fed meeting, I think the Fed will probably moderate their language a bit, and I think investors want to remain optimistic and ignore a lot of headwinds in this market,” he added.
The markets are closed on Thursdays for Thanksgiving and close early on Fridays.
Correction: An earlier version of this story has been corrected to indicate that Nordstrom reaffirmed his prediction.