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U.S. stocks edged higher Wednesday, boosted by energy shares, to snap a three-day losing streak that was fueled by worries about the path forward for interest rates.

The S&P 500 rose 12.04 points, or 0.3%, to 4140.77, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 59.64 points, or 0.2%, to 32969.23. The Nasdaq Composite added 50.23 points, or 0.4%, to close at 12431.53.

“The market is in this ‘treading water’ phase right now,” said

Brian Price,

head of investment management at Commonwealth Financial Network. “It’s hovering near flat in anticipation of [Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome] Powell’s speech.”

Stocks came under pressure in recent days from a series of data releases that showed contractions in the manufacturing and services sectors. Also, Fed officials have signaled that interest rates are likely to continue increasing to fight inflation. The central bank begins its annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Thursday, and Mr. Powell is set to speak Friday. 

“We still have the same problems we need to solve: shortages of labor, shortages of energy and other commodities, and the headwinds of a tightening cycle,” said

Giorgio Caputo,

a senior portfolio manager at J O Hambro Capital Management.

Oil prices climbed for a second day after Saudi Arabia and some of its OPEC+ allies suggested a cut to output, citing high volatility. Global crude benchmark Brent rose 1% to $101.22 a barrel.

Energy stocks in the S&P 500 paced the benchmark’s gains, rising 1.2%.


Apache’s parent, rose $1.52, or 3.9%, to $40.31.

Coterra Energy

climbed 96 cents, or 3.2%, to $31.27.

A data release showed durable-goods orders in July were flat, coming in below economists’ forecasts.

“Growth is falling quite precipitously everywhere. We’ve had a pretty big signal of weakening economic conditions,” said

Fahad Kamal,

chief investment officer of Kleinwort Hambros. “But I think we’ll see Powell stick to his hawkish tone; he has to keep talking tough on inflation.”

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note edged up to 3.105% from 3.053% on Tuesday, rising four consecutive trading days. The yield curve continues to be inverted, flashing a recessionary signal, with the two-year yield at 3.384%.

Traders worked at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.


Courtney Crow/Zuma Press


rose $16.21, or 3.6%, to $465.77 after the tax-prep software company reported better-than-expected earnings, authorized a share buyback and lifted its dividend.


tumbled $4.63, or 20%, to $18.57 after the clothing retailer lowered its financial goals for the year, citing risks of a steeper economic downturn and a slowdown in consumer spending.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2%. In Asia, major benchmarks declined, with the Shanghai Composite Index falling 1.9% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng down 1.2%. 

Chinese real-estate developer Logan Group declined more than 50% after its shares resumed trading on Wednesday. 

“There’s a lot of pessimism regarding the housing market in China; it looks really ugly with the mortgage repayment strikes,” said

Olivier Marciot,

investment manager at Unigestion. “The investment community is looking for signs that things are stabilizing on that front in China, which we haven’t got at the moment.”

Write to Justin Baer at and Anna Hirtenstein at

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