U.S. stocks rise amid Fed minutes

2021-07-08 06:26

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NEW YORK, July 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished higher on Wednesday as investors digested minutes from the Federal Reserve's recent policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 104.42 points, or 0.30 percent, to 34,681.79. The S&P 500 rose 14.59 points, or 0.34 percent, to 4,358.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.42 points, or 0.01 percent, to 14,665.06.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in green, with materials up 1.02 percent, outpacing the rest. Energy slipped 1.73 percent, the worst-performing group.

U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The Fed minutes released Wednesday afternoon showed participants discussed both fed funds rate hikes and quantitative easing at their June meeting. The minutes also revealed that Fed officials were divided over when to start tapering the central bank's asset purchases due to uncertainty regarding the economic outlook.

The Fed has pledged to keep its benchmark interest rates unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, while continuing its asset purchase program at least at the current pace of 120 billion U.S. dollars per month until the economic recovery makes "substantial further progress."

Fed officials agreed to continue assessing the economy's progress toward the central bank's goals and to begin to discuss their plans for adjusting the path and composition of asset purchases at coming meetings, according to the minutes.

"The Fed is not ready to taper, and is even less ready to hike the fed funds rate. Nevertheless, both were discussed in the June meeting, with an emphasis in both discussions on keeping the public informed," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Wednesday.
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