PARIS (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange opened lower on Wednesday, heading for a second consecutive session in the red, amid caution linked to the stalemate in negotiations on the U.S. debt ceiling as the investors are also awaiting the minutes of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve.

In early trading, the Dow Jones index lost 102.26 points, or 0.31%, to 32,953.25 points and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.44% to 4,127.19 points.

The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.45%, or 57.08 points, to 12,503.15.

The lack of major progress on raising the US debt ceiling before June 1, despite the proliferation of meetings between Democrats and Republicans, is raising growing fears of a US default.

“The optimism about a debt ceiling agreement is running dry as the two sides are ‘close on a number of issues’ but we still don’t have an agreement,” chief executive Mohit Kumar said in a note. economist at Jefferies.

The market is also awaiting the publication at 6:00 p.m. GMT of the “minutes” of the May 2 and 3 meeting of the Fed, which could give indications on the evolution of interest rates.

Sign of nervousness, the CBOE index measuring volatility rose 6.09% to 19.66 points.

In values, publications in the fashion sector are driving the exchanges, starting with the department store chain Kohl’s, which climbed 16.73% after a surprise profit in the first quarter driven by more rigorous inventory and cost management.

Urban Outfitters jumped 17.36% on the release of higher quarterly revenue and profit, driven by strong demand for its clothing and lower inventories.

Abercrombie & Fitch, meanwhile, soared 22.33% after raising its annual sales forecast, the group betting on constant demand for its clothing and accessories despite the impact of inflation.

VF Corp, the owner of The North Face brand, is also in the green after its quarterly results.

In the other compartments, PacWest Bancorp took 2.64%, the regional bank having sold its mortgage division to Roc360, in order to restore investor confidence in the face of fears about its liquidity.

On the downside, Nvidia drops 1.61% ahead of its expected earnings release after the Wall Street close, while Agilent Technologies plunges 9.26% after lowering its annual guidance.

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(Written by Claude Chendjou, edited by Kate Entringer)

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