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US open: Dow Jones flat following ninth-straight winning session

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were slightly higher at the bell on Wednesday, narrowly extending major averages' positive run of late. As of 1555 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.01% at 37,562.97, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.08% to 4,772.40 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.31% firmer at 15,050.19.

The Dow opened just 5.05 points higher on Wednesday after registering its ninth-straight winning session a day earlier.

Reversing losses in pre-market trading, all three major averages were in the green early on Wednesday and on track for a winning December, and year as a whole, with stocks building on their recent rally and investors looking ahead to multiple rate cuts from the Federal Reserve in 2024.

In focus early on Wednesday, Red Sea concerns were still weighing on sentiment despite a US pledge to assemble a cross-country naval force in the region. Brent crude was 0.91% stronger at $79.95 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was changing hands 1.01% higher at $74.69 a barrel.

On the macro front, mortgage applications fell 1.5% in the week ended 15 December, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, dropping from a 7.4% surge a week earlier and halting a six-week run of increased applications. Applications to refinance a home dropped by 2% but remained 18% higher year-on-year, while applications to purchase a home were 1% lower week-on-week but also remained 18% higher on an annualised basis.

Elsewhere, US existing home sales increased month-on-month in November for their first increase in five months. According to the National Association of Realtors, rose 0.8% month-on-month to a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 3.82m units in November, rebounding from 3.79m in October - the lowest level since August 2010. The figures came in ahead of forecasts of 3.77m, principally due to a fall in mortgage rates.

Finally, consumer confidence in the US jumped in December, according to the Conference Board, as perceptions of current and future conditions turned more optimistic. The closely watched monthly release of the consumer confidence index rose to 110.7 this month, up from 101.0 in November, which was revised down from initial estimates. However, the consensus estimate was for a reading closer to 104.5.

In the corporate space, logistics firm FedEx was in the red early on Wednesday after it cut revenue forecasts amid weaker demand, while General Mills also lowered its full-year sales forecasts as a result of softer demand, and recreation vehicle firm Winnebago beat on revenues with its latest quarterly figures but fell short on profits.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at

Dow Jones - Risers

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $297.60 1.58% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $354.24 0.62% Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $55.21 0.53% Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $374.94 0.45% Chevron Corp. (CVX) $152.29 0.43% Intel Corp. (INTC) $46.78 0.27% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $197.33 0.20% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $50.26 0.17% Visa Inc. (V) $260.33 0.13% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $93.99 0.06%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $275.13 -1.19% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $155.18 -0.82% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $520.06 -0.76% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $58.39 -0.75% Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $184.79 -0.75% Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $145.41 -0.52% American Express Co. (AXP) $185.13 -0.33% 3M Co. (MMM) $105.92 -0.31% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $37.49 -0.20% Boeing Co. (BA) $263.11 -0.15%

S&P 500 - Risers

Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $140.98 3.17% Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $142.32 3.06% eBay Inc. (EBAY) $43.76 2.90% Foot Locker Inc. (FL) $32.28 2.72% Idexx Laboratories Inc. (IDXX) $553.33 2.47% Allegion (ALLE) $122.27 2.30% CVS Health Corp (CVS) $77.95 2.22% J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $203.20 2.18% Revvity, Inc. (RVTY) $107.01 2.18% Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) $41.07 2.16%

S&P 500 - Fallers

FedEx Corp. (FDX) $250.65 -10.48% Dxc Technology Company (DXC) $22.48 -10.19% Aon plc (AON) $294.43 -5.94% Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.47 -3.66% Mosaic Company (MOS) $36.83 -3.47% Altria Group Inc. (MO) $40.97 -3.46% Kohls Corp. (KSS) $27.85 -3.35% General Mills Inc. (GIS) $64.89 -2.73% Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) $72.01 -2.61% ConAgra Brands Inc (CAG) $28.76 -2.16%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $140.98 3.17% Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $142.32 3.06% eBay Inc. (EBAY) $43.76 2.90% Idexx Laboratories Inc. (IDXX) $553.33 2.47% J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $203.20 2.18% Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $16.46 2.11% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $142.25 1.95% Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $154.30 1.83% Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $17.31 1.50% Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $4.95 1.43%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers, Inc. (JD) $27.05 -1.99% Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $94.83 -1.77% Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $329.82 -1.76% Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) $96.22 -1.53% Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) $668.23 -1.40% Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $81.03 -1.39% Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $113.11 -1.32% Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $82.85 -1.26% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $275.13 -1.19% Incyte Corp. (INCY) $61.17 -1.18%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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