Stocks closed the day in positive territory as investors analyzed the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee meeting last month and seemingly decided that the decision-makers were divided on the exact timing of the all-important interest rate hike.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.15 percent to 17,902.51 while the S&P 500 rose 0.27 percent to 2,081.90. The WWD Global Stock Tracker out paced both indices with a 0.59 percent gain to 116.17.
The WWD tracker was fueled by strong gain in overseas stocks — particularly from Asia-Pacific region — as investors digested the Royal Dutch Shell plan to buy BG Group in a deal valued at $70 billion. Of the 100 components of the WWD tracker, 25 issues declined while 74 advanced and one remained unchanged.
As the U.S. market was winding down this afternoon, it was the Fed’s committee minutes that drove sentiment on Wall Street. Paul Edelstein, director of financial economics at IHS Global Insight, said the “minutes from the Fed’s mid-March policy meeting offered a lot of information about the committee’s deliberations. Yet little of it provides much additional insight into the Fed’s intentions regarding the timing and pace of rate hikes.”
The minutes revealed a more cautious tone in regard to the impact of a strong dollar on the economy.