US Stocks Closed higher after the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve policy meeting in March showed that officials were torn on the timing of the country’s first interest rate hike since 2008.
According to the minutes, “several” officials saw it appropriate to raise the interest rates in June while the others felt that the robust dollar and the sharp decline in crude prices would weigh on inflation therefore the need to keep the rates down.
The meeting minutes, however did not contain a series of economic reports including last Friday’s non-farm payrolls data that showed that the economy is continuing to soften.
“Whatever level of hawkishness may have been in place in March such that the FOMC thought it appropriate to drop ‘patient’ is, however modestly, less so today,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG, told MarketWatch.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 27.09 points or 0.15 to close at 17,902.52. The blue chip index had turned slightly lower after the release of the minutes but slightly rebounded.
It was however still way below its intraday highs having shot up by 100 points during the session.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 index edged up 5 points or 0.3% to close at 2,080.95 rebounding from an intraday low of being three points down.
The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite Index which remained positive for the entire session closed 45 points or 0.8% up to 4,950.82.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 2.5% on news that Mylan NV had offered to acquire Perrigo.com for about 28.9 billion.
“The market is reacting very short-term right now to all these little bits of news,” Randy Warren, who manages more than $100 million at Exton, Pennsylvania-based Warren Financial Service & Associates Inc, told Bloomberg.
“We’re bouncing around in a band of a couple of percentage points one way or the other. What’s important for investors right now is to look for good companies, not react to every twitch of the Fed.”
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