A listless day on Wall Street ended with indexes mixed on Wednesday, as nervousness continues to wash out of the market following last week’s jolt by the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 slipped 4.60 points, or 0.1%, to 4,241.84 after earlier meandering between very modest gains and losses. It’s 0.3% below its record high set a week and a half ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 71.34, or 0.2%, to 33,874.24, while the Nasdaq composite added to its record set a day before. It inched up by 18.46, or 0.1%, to 14,271.73. The majority of stocks in the S&P 500 fell, but gains for financial companies and others that do best when the economy is healthy helped limit the losses, the AP reports.
Markets have calmed notably since the Federal Reserve surprised investors last week by saying it could start raising short-term interest rates by late 2023, earlier than expected. One measure of nervousness among stock investors in the market, known as the VIX, fell about 2%. Earlier in the day, it came close to its lowest level since the pandemic sell-off began in February 2020. Preliminary readings on the economy in June from IHS Markit showed manufacturing is growing at a stronger pace than economists expected, but growth for services industries fell short of forecasts. Sales of new homes in May also failed to meet economists' forecasts. It was the second straight monthly decline, as surging prices for homes slow activity. Besides a shortage of homes on the market, inflation has also been driving home prices higher because of increased costs for lumber and other building materials.
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