U.S. stocks ended mostly higher Wednesday in post-holiday
trade, powered by gains in technology, health-care and
financial shares. Trading marked the first full session in July
and follows holiday-shortened trade on Monday, with markets
closed Tuesday in observance of Independence Day. The Dow Jones
finished flat at 21,479, the S&P 500 index
climbed 0.2% to finish at 2,433. Meanwhile, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
enjoyed the best performance among the benchmarks
on the day, advancing 0.7% at 6,150, after closing in the red
in the past three sessions. A popular tech-fund, the Technology
Select Sector SPDR ETF
ended 0.9% higher. Bears have fretted that brisk
gains in the tech sector have left it vulnerable to a selloff.
Wednesday’s moves follow a release of minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern
from the Federal Reserve, which signaled the central bank’s
intention to start to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet as
early as September. Reducing its balance sheet, accumulated
during the 2008-’09 financial crisis, can serve as an
additional tightening as the Fed aims to normalize monetary
policy. Meanwhile, U.S. crude-oil prices
settled more than 4% lower, snapping an 8-session
rally. Lower oil prices weighed on energy-related stocks,
including Chevron Corp.
and Exxon Mobil Corp.
In corporate news, shares of Tesla Inc.
tumbled into correction territory in the wake of
downbeat deliveries data. Shares ended down 7.2%.