The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) traded in a 70-point range, before settling modestly lower, amid a raft of mixed rhetoric from Fed officials. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans spoke twice, and despite his openness to three additional rate hikes in 2017, said the central bank won't consider another one until its June meeting. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker echoed Evans, saying he'd like to "pace" additional rate hikes out through year's end. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) finished just above the flatline, after notching a new record high earlier in the trading session.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 20,905.86) gave back 8.8 points, or 0.04%, despite 17 of 30 components ending higher. The leading advancer was Caterpillar, which added 2.7%. Meanwhile, of the 12 Dow laggards, Home Depot and Visa fared the worst, shedding 1.2% apiece. Exxon Mobil was unchanged.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,373.47) surrendered 4.8 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 5,901.53) bucked the trend by a razor-thin margin, adding 0.5 point -- and earlier topped out at a record 5,915.12.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 11.34) edged up close to 0.1 point, or 0.5%, but hasn't overtaken the 12 level in four straight sessions.
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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert
Despite reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could extend its reduced output agreement for six months, oil prices again declined amid concern of growing U.S. production. Specifically, April-dated crude futures surrendered 56 cents, or 1.2%, to close at $48.22 per barrel.
Gold advanced for a third straight session, benefiting from a weaker U.S. dollar and fears of potential protectionism under the Trump administration. Gold for April delivery added $3.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,234 per ounce.
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