NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks meandered near the flatline early Wednesday as the market digested mixed US economic indicators ahead of an address by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Government data showed the United States economy grew at 2.9 percent in the third quarter, annualized, better than the 2.6 percent figure in the prior estimate.
But payroll firm ADP said private employers added just 127,000 jobs in November, much less than analysts expected and well below the level in October.
About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 percent at 33,813.82.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to 3,959.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 11,025.43.
Investors have been hoping that a moderating job market might lead the Fed to shift from ultra-aggressive policies to counter inflation.
They are eyeing Powell’s remarks with respect to one question above all others.
As Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare put it: “Will (Powell) adopt a more hawkish-minded tone like he did after the last (Fed) meeting or will he have a less hawkish tone?”