Dow Remains Firmly Positive, Nasdaq Slightly Lower

While the Dow has climbed firmly into positive territory, the broader Nasdaq and S&P 500 have spent much of the trading session on Wednesday lingering near the unchanged line. The choppy trading comes on the heels of the mixed performance seen in the previous session.

In recent trading, the major averages have once again turned mixed. While the Nasdaq is down 1.12 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 6,622.53, the Dow is up 133.82 points or 0.6 percent at 23,131.26 and the S&P 500 is up 1.64 points or 0.1 percent at 2,561.00.

The continued advanced by the Dow, which has climbed to a new record intraday high, is largely due to a notable jump by shares of IBM (IBM).

IBM has surged up by 8.8 percent after the tech giant reported third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

The lack of direction being shown by the broader markets come as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book this afternoon.

The Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts, may shed additional light on the outlook for interest rates.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing a much bigger than expected slump in housing starts in the month of September.

The Commerce Department said housing starts plunged by 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.127 million in September from the revised August estimate of 1.183 million. Housing starts has been expected to edge down by 0.5 percent.

The much bigger than expected decrease, which partly reflected disruptions caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, pulled housing starts down to their lowest level since September of 2016.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, also tumbled by 4.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.215 million in September from a revised 1.272 million in August. Economists had expected building permits to drop by 2.9 percent.

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