Blue-Chip Dow Leads Upside; Stock Market Awaits Fed Pick

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Blue chips led a mixed stock market Wednesday in midday trade, as small caps faded after a strong start.

The small-cap Russell 2000 rose 0.6% early and then reversed to a 0.6% loss.

[ibd-display-video id=2469849 width=50 float=left autostart=true]The Dow Jones industrial average held a 0.2% gain and the S&P 500 seconded the motion. The Nasdaq trailed with a 0.1% dip.

Volume in the stock market today was running higher vs. the same time Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve will wrap up its meeting today at 2 p.m. ET. The Street expects the Fed to keep interest rates in the current 1% to 1.25% range. A quarter-point increase isn't expected until mid-December.

The Street's chief focus is on who will be the next head of the Fed. President Trump is expected to reveal his choice Thursday. Rumors suggest that lawyer and investment banker Jerome Powell will be Trump's choice. The Street sees Powell as a responsible and risk-averse choice. Another possibility is John Taylor, a Stanford economist. Taylor, a favorite of conservatives, would be a bolder choice and a clearer departure from Janet Yellen's reign.

Blue chips were mostly up. In the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average only two stocks were down. Apple ( AAPL ) dropped 1%, sinking back into its 5% buy zone from a recent breakout. Verizon Communications ( VZ ) fell 0.5% in moderate volume.

On the upside, Dow components Goldman Sachs ( GS ) and Cisco Systems ( CSCO ) rose 2% and 1% respectively. Goldman is near a 247.17 buy point. Cisco is in its 5% buy zone from a 34.20 entry.

Among small caps, big gainers included building-materials provider Boise Cascade ( BCC ) which jumped about 4% in heavy volume. Q3 results, reported Tuesday, showed a 98% increase in earnings - about 17% above expectations. Revenue rose 15%, the best pop in 15 quarters.

Going into Wednesday's session the building sector was No. 2 among 33 sectors.

TimkenSteel (TMST), another small cap, advanced 8% in heavy volume. Steel makers and specialty alloy stocks had some of the biggest daily gains Wednesday among the 197 industry groups tracked by IBD .

In the IBD 50 , winners and losers were about evenly split. China-based internet portal Sina (SINA) darted 4% higher as the stock reclaimed its 50-day moving average .

On the downside in the IBD 50, Paycom Software (PAYC) dropped 5% in heavy volume. Despite the bearish drop, Paycom found support at its 50-day line, which is bullish action. Paycom reported Tuesday that its quarterly earnings jumped 93% from the year-ago level and more than 50% above expectations.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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