Dow, S&P 500 and the Federal Reserve

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Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (Seth Wenig/AP)

US stocks opened higher Wednesday morning as investors eagerly anticipate a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the state of the economy this afternoon. 

Wall Street was hit with two economic reports Wednesday that caused some volatility as investors interpreted how they might influence the Fed’s December policy decision. 

Payroll processing firm ADP said that private companies added 127,000 jobs in November, below the 190,000 consensus expectation. That signals the job market may be cooling and that the Fed could slow its historic rate-hiking campaign to fight inflation.  

Third-quarter GDP, however, was also revised higher signaling that the economy is still strong. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday that third-quarter GDP increased at a 2.9% annual rate, up from the 2.6% initial estimate.

There are just 22 trading days left in the year and traders are still expecting a barrage of data this week including the government jobs report for November, job openings numbers, new housing data, and PCE inflation. 

The Dow gained 28 points, or 0.1%, on Wednesday morning.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2%.

The Nasdaq Composite was 0.4% higher. 


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