NEW YORK, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in a volatile Wednesday session, with the S&P 500 bouncing off a key technical level and traders eyeing the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
The market wobbled a day after a selloff that took the S&P 500 to its lowest level in nearly two months, with concerns lingering about how a strong dollar and weak global growth may impact corporate earnings.
However, retailer Costco Wholesale Corp posted strong earnings, topping analysts’ estimates for the first time in five quarters. Shares were gaining 1.7 percent at $127.49 after earlier hitting a record high of $128.95.
China’s services sector growth weakened slightly in September as new business cooled in the world’s second-largest economy. That follows weak industrial data out of Germany, the euro zone’s growth engine.
Weakness in other economies and the expectation that interest rates will begin to rise in the United States as other major central banks continue to ease have boosted the U.S. currency. The dollar index is on track to post its first weekly loss in the last 13.
“The market is in wait and see mode until the Fed comes out,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.
“It has paid to come in and scoop the market up after every one of the recent dips. The difference this time is small caps are weak.”
Kinahan said that from a technical perspective it was key that the S&P 500 held above 1,930.
That level coincides with the S&P 500’s 150-day moving average. The last time the benchmark closed below it was in November 2012.
The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 36.44 points, or 0.22 percent, to 16,755.83, the S&P 500 was gaining 1.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,937.05 and the Nasdaq Composite was adding 0.16 points, or 0 percent, to 4,385.37.
Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,766 to 1,227, for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,601 issues were falling and 1,003 advancing for a 1.60-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 5 new 52-week highs and 23 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 11 new highs and 257 new lows.
Minutes from the most recent meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve are due at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). With the Fed set to complete rolling back its massive monthly bond-buying purchases this month, investors will be looking for clues on how soon it plans to lift interest rates. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu Nomiyama)