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US stocks waver narrowly after Fed minutes

New York: US stocks traded slightly higher as investors continued to digest the US Federal Reserve’s minutes from its July meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday edged up 3.08 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 18,577.02, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 rose 1.26 points, or 0. 06 per cent, to 2,183.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 9.11 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 5,237.77.

According to the minutes released on Wednesday, some voting Federal Reserve policymakers believed that a US interest rate increase will soon be needed, although there is a general agreement that more data is needed before such a move.

“The information reviewed for the July 26-27 meeting indicated that labor market conditions generally improved in June and that growth in real gross domestic product was moderate in the second quarter,” said the minutes.
“The most compelling reason to think the next hike could be in September is a division into three camps evident among FOMC participants: Those who are not ready to raise rates, those who are ready, and those who think the moment is soon,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in a note on Thursday.

Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley reportedly said in a Thursday speech the past two jobs reports “helped allay concerns that arose earlier this year that job growth was beginning to stall. Indeed, these reports reinforce my view that labor market conditions continue to improve.”