Updated from 9:40 a.m. EDT
Investors in U.S. stocks traded erratically soon after an upside open Wednesday as investors monitored the government's bailout of the banking industry.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was recently up 29.5 points at 10,883, and the
was up 3.6 points to 1191. The
gained 16.8 points to 2170.
On Tuesday, stocks finished on the downside after traders listened to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and
Chairman Ben Bernanke outline for Congress their $700 billion bailout package for financial-services firms. The pair were continuing their testimony during Wednesday's trading.
"Looks like Bernanke and Paulson are in for another tough day," said Fred Dickson, director of private client research and chief market strategist for DA Davidson. "Main Street wants a stake in
the bailout package and looks like they'll get it.
"I think investors are sitting back and waiting to see what Congress does," he said. "Hopefully, we'll see something by the end of the week." While uncertainty remains, the market will trade with a great deal of volatility, he said.
After the close of Tuesday's trading, several financial firms signed deals to raise capital. Insurance giant
agreed to an
with the Fed.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
inked a deal to buy as much as a $10 billion stake in
. Goldman, along with rival
, on Sunday agreed to become a bank holding company instead of an investment bank.
Dickson said he was surprised the market didn't bounce higher off the news of Berkshire's investment in Goldman, especially after a sizeable drop in the major indices during the last hour of Monday's trading.
Berkshire wasn't the only firm that may grab a piece of Goldman.
may invest between 100 billion and 300 billion yen in Goldman, although there are conflicting reports about a potential deal.
reports that the FBI is spearheading a
into AIG, bankrupt brokerage
. The four companies are at the center of the government's $700 billion bailout package.
The Fed also went ahead with development of $30 billion in
to provide liquidity to overseas markets.
A series of analyst downgrades of regional banks could offer a drag on financial stocks. Robert W. Baird downgraded
to neutral from outperform and
to underperform from neutral. Citigroup took
to sell from hold and dropped
to hold from buy.
Outside the financial sector, home retailer
forecast 2008 earnings of $1.48 to $1.56 a share on modest sales growth. Analysts expect profit to fall within the forecasted range.
In the technology space,
were prepping for discussions about
, according to a report in the
As for economic data, the National Association of Realtors' look at August existing-home sales came in at an annual rate of 4.91 million units, slightly below economists' estimates and down from 5.02 million in July.
The Energy Information Administration's report on crude oil inventories for the week ended Sept. 20 is due out later this morning.
In commodities, crude oil was rising $1.91 to $108.52 a barrel, and gold was gaining $11 to $902.20 an ounce.
Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were rising in price. The 10-year note was up 12/32 to yield 3.75%, and the 30-year was gaining 22/32, yielding 4.34%. The dollar was gaining on its major foreign competitors.
Abroad, the FTSE in London and the Dax in Frankfurt were trading lower. Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished in the green.