Major Averages Slightly Higher In Mid-Day Trading

After ending the previous session modestly higher, stocks may move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are now pointing to a slightly lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 9 points.

The choppy trading on Wall Street comes as traders seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting this afternoon.

Wednesday's release of the Fed's September meeting minutes showed that although officials struggled to come to term with persistently low inflation, some were anxious that low unemployment could result in a quick rebound in inflation, and a third rate hike was needed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.21 points, or 0.18%, to 22,872.89, the S&P 500 gained 4.6 points, or 0.18%, to 2,555.24, and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.30 points, or 0.25%, to 6,603.55.

"The Fed minutes alluded to the likelihood of an increase in December by 25 basis points, that we believe has already been priced into the market", he said.

Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.

The weakness in the gold sector comes amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery is sliding $3.60 to $1,290.20 an ounce. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.3 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index is just below the unchanged line, the UK's FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.1% and the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3%.

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