Modest gains for U.S. stocks gave way to small losses Wednesday as investors waited for a policy statement from the Federal Reserve and remarks by Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
The central bank concludes its two-day meeting today at 2 p.m. Eastern, followed by Yellen’s news conference at 2:30 p.m. Most analysts expect no rate changes at this point but market participants will be searching for clues in the central bank’s statement and news conference on the timing of the first rate hike in nearly a decade and the pace of any subsequent moves.
The S&P 500 SPX, -0.04% was down 5.98 points, or 0.3%, at 2,090.29 after trading earlier above 2,103. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.01% was off 38.94 points, or 0.2%, at 17,865.54. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.04% lost 8.12 points, or 0.2%, to 5,047.24.
Marc Pfeffer, senior portfolio manager at CLS Investments, said nobody expects a rate change from the Fed on Wednesday, but guidance about policy will move markets.