With traders reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of the announcement of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision, stocks are showing a lack of direction in early trading on Thursday. The major averages remain stuck near the unchanged line after opening roughly flat.
The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders are largely staying on the sidelines ahead of the release of the Fed's monetary policy statement at about 12:30 pm ET.
Many analysts expect the central bank to announce another round of quantitative easing as part of an effort to stimulate the sluggish economy, although others have predicted that the Fed will only extend its pledge to keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels.
A lack of additional stimulus could lead to a sell-off on Wall Street, as stimulus hopes have helped to push the markets higher in recent weeks.
While most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves in early trading, housing stocks are giving back some ground after moving sharply higher on Wednesday. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index is down by 1.1 percent, pulling back off yesterday's four-year closing high.
Steel, oil service, and brokerage stocks are also seeing early weakness, while some strength is visible among telecom stocks.
Currently, the major averages remain nearly flat, showing moves off less than a tenth of a percent. The S&P 500 is down 0.30 points at 1,436.26, while the Dow is up 1.58 points at 13,334.93 and the Nasdaq is up 1.17 points at 3,115.48.
by RTT Staff Writer
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