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Wednesday's Market Wrap: Major Averages Record Small Gains

Wednesday's Market Wrap: Major Averages Record Small Gains - Cree, Inc. NASDAQ:CREE, SPDR Gold Shares ETF ETF:GLD

The major U.S. equity averages spent most of the day in negative territory before a late-day rally pushed the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all into the green by the close. After a selloff on Tuesday, stocks remain just below all-time high levels.

The release of minutes from the Fed's July policy meeting showed that the central bank is committed to keeping its options open and no consensus has been reached about the timing of another rate increase.

"Members judged it appropriate to continue to leave their policy options open and maintain the flexibility to adjust the stance of policy based on incoming information," the minutes said. At the earliest, the next bump up in short-term rates could come in September, but that is far from set in stone.

Big gainers on the session included Urban Outfitters Inc URBN 15.4%, which surged more than 15 percent on the back of a strong earnings report and Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc VRX 12.78%, which jumped 13 percent on the session. Losers included Cree Inc CREE 14.92%, which fell 15 percent after a disappointing earnings report, and Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc PTLA 10.97%.

Major Averages

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 22 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 18,574.

The S&P 500 climbed 4 points, or 0.19 percent, to finish at 2,182.

The Nasdaq rose a little less than 2 points, or 0.03 percent, to 5,229.

Commodities

The commodity complex was lower on Wednesday with the Bloomberg Commodity Index added 0.17 percent.

NYMEX crude oil futures rose 0.67 percent to $46.89 while Brent contracts climbed 1.20 percent to $49.82. Natural gas futures were unchanged at $2.62.

Precious metals were lower mid-week. COMEX gold futures fell 0.25 percent to $1,353.50. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF GLD 0.02% rose 0.03 percent to close the equity session at $128.51. Silver contracts fell 0.88 percent to $19.70 on the day. The iShares Silver Trust ETF SLV 0.74% lost 0.74 percent to finish at $18.68.

In the grains complex, corn and wheat were both higher on the session. Corn contracts added 0.74 percent to $3.3975 and wheat futures were up 0.80 percent to $4.4300.

Bonds

Treasury prices were moderately higher on Wednesday. At the close of equities, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF TLT 0.6% had added 0.60 percent to $139.22.

Treasury yields were as follows on Wednesday afternoon: The yield on the 2-Year Note was 0.74 percent. The 5-Year Note was yielding 1.15 percent. The 10-Year Note was last yielding 1.56 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield was 2.27 percent.

Currencies

The U.S. Dollar was moderately higher on Wednesday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF UUP 0.08%, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, traded up 0.08 percent to $24.51. The closely watched EUR/USD pair rose 0.10 percent to 1.1290 euros.

Volatility and Volume

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gave back some of its gains from Tuesday. After spiking in morning trade, the VIX fell throughout the afternoon and finished down 3.56 percent to 12.19.

Volume was a little higher than it has been in recent days, but still well below average. Around 67 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY 0.19% shares traded hands versus a 3-month daily average of just over 92 million shares. Trading in the PowerShares QQQ Trust QQQ 0.18%, which tracks the Nasdaq 100, was also below average with just 15 million shares being traded compared to a 3-month daily average just under 23 million.

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