NEW YORK (AFP) – Major US indices were slightly higher at the close of trading on Wednesday (April 27), regaining some ground lost in the prior session as investors await US growth data.
Sentiment on Wall Street has been battered in recent sessions by statements from top Federal Reserve officials indicating they will aggressively hike rates to fight record US inflation, along with the fallout from the war in Ukraine and new pandemic lockdowns in China.
Traders are meanwhile bracing for the US government to give its first estimate of GDP growth in the first quarter on Thursday, amid fears of either a weak expansion or perhaps even a contraction.
“We wouldn’t be surprised to see a negative headline growth rate,” Wells Fargo bank said in a note, pointing to a government report on Wednesday that showed a jump in the March deficit in international trade in goods.
“That said, this slow pace of growth would be misleading in that it will mask reasonably solid consumer and business demand at the start of the year.”
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2 per cent to close at 33,301.93.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 per cent to 4,183.96 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index ended flat at 12,488.93.
Boeing closed 7.5 per cent lower after the aviation giant reported a US$1.2 billion loss in an ugly quarter weighed down by fresh one-time costs on its Russia business, the Air Force One presidential jet and the new 777X plane.
Microsoft rose 4.8 per cent following its release of quarterly earnings showing a US$16.7 billion profit thanks to demand for cloud computing.