Stocks were mostly lower headed into the afternoon session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 down 72 points and three points, respectively. The NASDAQ, off earlier, has nudged slightly into positive territory. Still, the advance/decline ratio was around negative 3-to-2 on the NYSE, with declining stocks outpacing advancing issues.
The Dogs of the Dow were on their best behavior in the first half of 2016. The Dogs, which include the 10 highest yielding equities in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as of the start of 2016, advanced 13% from January 1st to June 30th. By comparison, the major stock market benchmarks struggled to make much headway, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each edging ahead 3%, while the NASDAQ Composite fell 3%.
The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting concluded a little earlier this afternoon, with the central bank providing no surprises of note with its decision to leave short-term interest rates unchanged, within a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The stock market, off slightly before the Fed decision and accompanying rate statement, improved slightly in the first few minutes of trading, but, in general, set off few buy or sell programs initially.