Stocks ended mostly lower on Wednesday, but not by much, after the Federal Reserve’s latest Beige Book survey showed that little has changed in economic activity, even while banks pulled back on lending. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.23% fell about 79 points, or 0.2%, ending near 33,897, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.01% shed less than a point, according to preliminary FactSet data. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.03% was less than 0.1% higher. Stocks have been struggling for direction this week as corporate quarterly earnings season gathered steam. The focus for months has been on how far the Fed might rate rates before pausing, and then for how long they might stay high as the central bank looks to bring high inflation lower. Stress in the banking system cropped up in March, with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. But the Fed is widely expected to raise its policy rate by another 25 basis points in May, after rapidly increasing the top end of its target range to 5% in slight more than a year.
This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.