Risk of Overvaluation

U.S. Stocks Waver as Fed Releases Policy Meeting Minutes

Equity markets traded mostly higher, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finishing in positive territory.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded mixed-to-higher on Wednesday, as investors monitored economic data and the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting minutes.

Wall Street’s major indices were mixed at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 8.63 points, or 0.02%, to 35,805.17.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks rose 0.2% to settle at 4,701.54. Most sectors finished in positive territory.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) gained 0.4% to close at 15,845.23.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) was little changed on Wednesday. The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday low of 18.80 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle down 2.7% at 18.85.

In commodities, oil prices were lower on Wednesday, as U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $78.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, declined 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $82.12 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices rose slightly, as the February futures contract advanced $3.70, or 0.2%, to $1,790.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures gained 8 cents, or 0.3%, to trade at $23.57 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: Fed policymakers are growing concerned more about inflation, according to the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The consumer price index soared to 30-year highs in October.