U.S. Equity Benchmarks Hit Record Trifecta Following Fed Minutes
All three top U.S. stock benchmarks finished at record levels on Wednesday after the minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers are cautious on the timing of the next interest rate hike, a move that was widely expected to be made in December.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 42.21 points or 0.2 percent or 0.2 percent, to finish at 22,872.89. The blue-chip gauge was supported by the rise in the shares of Johnson & Johnson and McDonald's Corp. J&J shares advanced 2.1 percent after Jefferies upgraded the stock's rating to “buy”, stating that the firm's pharma division would help it beat analysts' profit projections.
Meanwhile , the S&P 5000 index advanced 4.60 points to 0.2 percent to end at 2,555.24. The decline in financial kept gains on the S&P 500 in check.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 16.30 points or 0.3 percent up to close at 6, 603.55
Wall Street reacted subtlety to the minutes of the Fed, which showed members of the FOMC had a drawn-out debate regarding the outlook for inflation during the September meeting. In general, majority of policymakers still believed that another rate hike this year was likely to be warranted.
A report from Politico that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was calling for president Donald Trump to name Jerome Powell as the next Federal Reserve chairman drove stocks to near session highs. The candidate is perceived to be market-friendly.