Healthcare stocks boost the Dow early on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were flat ahead of Donald Trump’s first formal news conference, where he is expected to give more insight into his plans to boost economic growth.
The U.S. President-elect, who takes office on January 20, is scheduled to speak in New York at 11:00 a.m. ET (1600 GMT).
Trump’s election in November sparked a record-setting rally. But, investors now want evidence on if and how he keeps his campaign-trail promises of stimulating the economy though increased public spending, tax cuts and repatriating U.S. companies’ funds from overseas.
The dollar which has also basked in Trump’s victory, rose to 102.53. However, concerns over some of his protectionist statements have kept investors wary.
Oil prices also helped keep the equity market afloat, rising for the first time in three days after Saudi Arabia provided details of a February supply cut to some of its Asian customers.
“The overall technical picture for the stock market remains firm and we look for commodities to be the market leaders of the day, thereby, keeping the markets upward trend in place,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, said in a note.
Investors are also closely watching the corporate earnings season, which kicks off with big banks on Friday, to see if financial results can support the lofty valuations Wall Street is trading at.
The combined profit of S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter - the best in three years - largely helped by financials stocks, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.