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Mid-Day Update: Stocks Hold New Records as Wall Street Waits For Final FOMC Minutes of 2017

Evaluating market performance charts

Wall Street's record-setting run continued on Wednesday with the three major benchmark averages setting all-time highs on bullish manufacturing data, and analyst upgrades in the technology sector. As focus shifts to the final minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 2017, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are trading above psychologically key levels of 2,700 and 7,000, respectively, while the Dow pushes closer to 25,000.

Stocks extended premarket gains on an unexpected increase in the Institute for Supply Management ( ISM ) manufacturing index. The December ISM rose to 59.7 -- its second highest level since 2004 -- from November's 58.2, and exceeded expectations to decline to 58.0.

Additionally, construction spending was up a better-than-expected 0.8% in November, beating forecasts for a 0.6% gain.

Keeping the technology sector afloat was a pair of upgrades to International Business Machines ( IBM ) and Oracle ( ORCL ), driving shares in the software sector higher, and offsetting heavy losses for component stock Intel ( INTC ) on claims that its processors present a security risk to major operating systems.

Europe's major bourses are all higher in tandem with the US, aided by a weaker euro and strength in automaker, miner and retail stocks as well as upbeat German labor market data. The UK's FTSE-100 erased earlier losses tied to bearish construction data, closing with a 0.35% gain.

Crude oil was up $1.03 to $61.40 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.07 to $2.99 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $1.90 to $1.318.10 an ounce, while silver was up $0.02 to $17.23 an ounce. Copper was down $0.03 to $3.24 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 1.78% to $12.28 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 2.24% to $5.87. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.12% to 23.52 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.14% to $124.98. The iShares Silver Trust was up $0.03 to $16.21.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

US MARKETS

NYSE Composite Index was down 28.68 points (+0.22%) to 12,931.40

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 54.37 points (+0.22%) to 24,878.38

S&P 500 was up 11.95 points (+0.44%) to 2,707.67

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 45.93 points (+0.65%) to 7,052.67

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 26.41 points (+0.35%) to 7,674.51

DAX was up 118.43 points (+0.92%) to 12,989.82

CAC 40 was up 49.28 points (+0.93%) to 5,337.88

Nikkei 225 was closed

Hang Seng Index was up 45.64 points (+0.15%) to 30,560.95

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 21.77 points (+0.65%) to 3,370.10

NYSE SECTOR INDICES

NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 95.52 points (+0.79%) to 11,773.02

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 10.69 points (+0.13%) to 8,259.60

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was up 72.14 points (+0.50%) to 14,436.17

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) SCG (+22.36%) Agreed to merge with Dominion Resources ( D ) in stock-for-stock deal

(+) TEUM (+15.72%) Contractual revenue backlog hits record high in 2017

(+) TRVN (+11.11%) FDA accepts painkiller marketing application for review

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) MGI (-9.35%) Plans strategic initiative with China's Ant Financial after merger is shelved

(-) CYH (-8.93%) Goldman initiates coverage with sell rating, $3 price target

(-) ATRA (-1.66%) Announced plan to raise up to $115 million via share sale

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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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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