FedEx cautious forecast keeps US stocks on hold

US stocks were little changed yesterday as mixed economic data and a cautious forecast from economic bellwether FedEx kept the market locked in its recent tight trading range.

Shares in FedEx fell 3.7 per cent to $82.72 after the company forecast quarterly profit below Wall Street’s expectations and warned the recovery may slow.

A drop in initial jobless benefit claims to a two-month low in the most recent week was not enough to lift stocks, while a gauge of business activity in the US Mid-Atlantic region showed a contraction for a second straight month in September.

The S&P 500 has settled into a range between support at its 200-day moving average around 1,115 and resistance around 1,130. Attempts to pierce 1,130 have been thwarted several times since June, including this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 22.10 points to 10,594.83. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.40 points to 1,124.67. The Nasdaq gained 1.93 points to 2,303.25.