NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks edged higher on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as minutes from the Federal Reserve boosted expectations the US central bank was not likely to hike rates in September.
The minutes from the July meeting showed policy makers believed risks to the US economy had lessened but wanted to keep their interest rate policy “options open.”
“Market expectations for a rate hike in September are still low, and this committee tends to be cautious,” said Sara Johnson and Ozlem Yaylaci, economists at IHS Markit.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1 percent to 18,573.94.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 percent at 2,182.22, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced less than 0.1 percent to 5,228.66.
Big-box retailer Target slumped 6.5 percent as it slashed its forecast for the remainder of 2016, citing a “difficult” retail environment.
Lowe’s, a home-improvement retailer, dropped 5.7 percent as analysts said same-store sales growth of 2.0 percent in the second quarter lagged expectations.
Youth-oriented apparel retailer Urban Outfitters surged 15.4 percent after reporting that second-quarter net income jumped 15.1 percent to $76.9 million.
Cisco Systems dropped 5.7 percent following a report that it planned deep staff layoffs. The networking giant announced after market closed that it plans to eliminate 5,500 positions.