US stocks mixed; Nasdaq gains ahead of key Nvidia earnings By

US stocks mixed; Nasdaq gains ahead of key Nvidia earnings By — U.S. stocks traded in a mixed fashion Wednesday, ahead of the release of minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting as well as key earnings from market darling Nvidia.

At 09:35 ET (13:35 GMT), slipped 50 points, or 0.1%, fell 4 points, or 0.1%, while  rose 10 points, or 0.1%.

Nvidia earnings loom large

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped slightly from its record close Wednesday, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite added to its highs as investors positioned for hotly anticipated earnings from Nvidia (NASDAQ:). 

The chipmaker is widely considered as a bellwether for the rapidly-growing artificial intelligence industry, and is expected to report exponential growth in earnings on the back of demand from the industry. 

Nvidia currently makes the most advanced AI chips available in the market, and is expected to have benefited substantially from major tech companies racing to further their AI plans. 

Anticipation of Nvidia’s earnings saw investors buy further into technology stocks.

Fed minutes due as officials stick to cautious stance on rates

The are also due during later in Wednesday’s session, and come following a string of cautious signals from members of the central bank.

The Fed kept rates steady during the last meeting and warned that inflation was turning sticky. But it also still mentioned the possibility of interest rate cuts this year, a statement that markets had clung to.

Still, several Fed officials cautioned this week that the central bank needed much more confidence that inflation was easing, before it could begin trimming rates. But they also downplayed speculation that the bank would increase rates further.

Beyond the minutes, more Fed officials are also set to speak in the coming days. 

Quarterly earnings continue

In the corporate sector, Nvidia’s numbers will be the highlight, but there are more quarterly earnings to digest.

Target (NYSE:) stock fell almost 10% on the back of its latest quarterly earnings, which saw the retailer miss profit expectations on the back of weak discretionary spending.

TJX Companies (NYSE:) rose over 4% after the TJ Maxx parent posted better-than-expected first-quarter results and raised its annual profit forecast, while Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:) stock dropped 35% after the athletic apparel retailer announced the departure of Chief Product Officer Sun Choe.

Crude slips after US inventories build

Crude prices fell Wednesday, retreating for the third straight session on U.S. interest rates jitters as well as an unexpected build in U.S. inventories.

By 09:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1% lower at $77.91 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1% to $82.11 per barrel.

Data from the  showed on Tuesday that U.S. oil inventories unexpectedly grew by 2.5 million barrels last week, raising some concerns over sluggish U.S. oil demand, with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday marking the traditional start of the travel-heavy summer season.

Official inventory data from the  are due later in the session. 

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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