New York City - US stocks were little changed in opening trade Wednesday ahead of an expected decision by the Federal Reserve to dial back its stimulus program.
Ten minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 17.63 points (0.11 percent) to 15,512.10.
The broad-based S&P 500 was up a scant 0.13 (0.01 percent) to 1,704.89, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.21
(0.11 percent) at 3,749.91.
Investors awaited an announcement on whether the Fed will maintain its $85 billion per-month bond-buying program, or, more likely, scale it back by $10-$15 billion, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference at 2:30 ET (20:30 SA time) Wednesday and “what he communicates there is arguably more important than what is said in the directive,” O'Hare said.
Construction starts on new homes fell 3.8 percent in August from July, according to Commerce Department data. Building permits also declined in August. - Sapa-AFP