Stocks rise slightly after S&P 500 notches highest close since August: Live updates

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. 


Stocks were little-changed Wednesday as the S&P 500 neared its highest closing levels since August 2022.

The S&P 500 inched down 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 41 points, or 0.1%, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.5%.

The energy sector led the way higher for the S&P 500, rising 2.1%. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF and First Trust Natural Gas ETF both added close to 3%.

The tail-end of earnings season pressed on with results from Dave & Buster’s and Stitch Fix. Dave & Buster’s gained 25%, while Stitch Fix added more than 32%.

The U.S. trade deficit continued to increase in April, but came in slightly below economists’ expectations. The deficit could translate into lower GDP growth for the second quarter.

Wall Street is coming off a winning session. The broad index added 0.24% to finish at its highest level since August 2022, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.36% to end at its highest close in 2023. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked 10.42 points higher, or 0.03%, pressured by health stocks Merck and UnitedHealth.

Tuesday’s uptrend trailed last week’s blowout rally. However, continued modest gains instead of sharp pullbacks after a major upswing could signal more good news ahead, said Adam Sarhan, CEO of 50 Park Investments.

“The fact that it refuses to fall to me is extremely bullish,” he said. “Normally, after a big run up, you see a market pullback, and when the market doesn’t pull back and goes sideways, that to me is very bullish.”