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U.S. Stocks Tick Higher, Extending Gains

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09/11/2019 | 11:06am EDT

By Anna Isaac

U.S. stocks inched higher Wednesday, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to post its sixth straight session of gains.

The blue-chip index edged up 32 points, or 0.1%, to 26945. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6%.

With not much economic data on the docket for Wednesday, markets moves were relatively muted. Investors are looking ahead to central bank meetings in the coming days when the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve are expected to cut interest rates.

Earnings-related news drove swings among individual stocks, with Dave & Buster's Entertainment sliding 8.3% after cutting its full-year guidance.

GameStop tumbled 11% after reporting a loss for the most-recent quarter and giving a downbeat forecast for the full year.

Elsewhere, markets in Europe and Asia were mostly higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8% and South Korea's Kospi added 0.8% after strong jobs data.

Shares of London Stock Exchange Group gained 5.6% after Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing made an offer to buy it in a $36.56 billion cash-and-share deal.

Investors have shown signs in recent days of expecting less stimulus from the ECB when it meets Thursday.

"Ahead of the ECB meeting investors seemed to take some chips off the table with aggressive expectations being pared back," said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING Bank in a note.

Still, investors are mostly expecting lower interest rates from the ECB, as well as from the Fed when the U.S. central bank meets next week. On Wednesday, President Trump called again for looser U.S. monetary policy, when he tweeted, "The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt."

Expectations of lower rates helped markets climb at the start of the year, though stocks have pared some of their gains since then.

Government bond prices weakened, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 1.726% from 1.706% on Tuesday after data showed producer prices rose more than expected in August. With bonds, prices move inversely to yields.

Inflation tends to hurt government bond prices, since it chips away at the value of bonds' fixed payouts.

Akane Otani contributed to this article

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.14% 27219.52 Delayed Quote.16.68%
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX 0.69% 2047.43 Real-time Quote.0.29%
NASDAQ 100 -0.31% 7892.954646 Delayed Quote.25.08%
NASDAQ COMP. -0.22% 8176.71293 Delayed Quote.23.50%
S&P 500 -0.07% 3007.39 Delayed Quote.19.97%
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