Major averages hovered near unchanged on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing up slightly after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent meeting that reinforced the U.S. central bank’s position to remain patient before raising rates.
The major indexes held near unchanged for most of the day but the S&P 500 briefly climbed to a session high after the minutes, in which Fed officials said it would likely take “some time” for substantial further progress on goals of maximum employment and stable prices.
The gains were minor and short-lived. Many market participants question whether the Fed will hold off so long on a rate hike.
“We thought we were going to get something new from the minutes of the Fed meeting, we were oddly mistaken on that one,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
“The Fed has been more transparent all of this year about where they stand and they really are not budging from that stance.”
The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note moved higher late in the session, yet remained below a 14-month high of 1.776% hit on March 30. The recent pullback in yields has helped growth names and lifted technology and communication services stocks as the best performing sectors on the day.