May 18, 2016 - 5:01 PM EDT
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Stocks Close Off Highs Following Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks closed off session highs Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrials and S&P little changed after the release of the Federal Reserve's April meeting minutes, which said a June rate hike was likely if the data improves.

The Dow turned negative 3.36 points to 17,526.62. Wal-Mart contributed the most to declines in the Dow. Goldman Sachsand JPMorgan Chase contributed the most to gains.

The S&P 500 nicked higher 0.31 points to 2,047.52, utilities and telecoms led decliners in the S&P 500.

The NASDAQ Composite gained 23.39 points to 4,739.12, as Apple climbed more than 1%.

In corporate news, Target reported a lower-than-expected 1.2% increase in comparable sales, while net revenue declined to $16.2 billion U.S., mainly due to the sale of pharmacy and clinic business to CVS Health. Target fell more than 9.5%.

In other earnings news, Staples beat slightly on the top and bottom line, but North American same-store sales were down 4% a bigger drop than the 3.1% drop analysts had expected. Shares turned lower.

Lowe's reported earnings and revenue above expectations, and the same-store sales increase of 7.3% was well above the consensus estimate of a 4.4% rise. Shares rose 3.5%.

Hormel posted earnings a touch above expectations, while revenue was essentially in-line. The food manufacturer also raised its full-year earnings forecast. Shares fell 9%.

U.S. crude oil futures traded higher after the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory data showed a 1.3-million-barrel build in crude, while other fuel stockpiles declined.

Prices for the 10-year Treasury dropped sharply, raising yields to 1.85% from Tuesday's 1.76%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gave back 51 cents a barrel to $47.80 U.S.

Gold prices dumped $21.95 to $1,257 U.S. an ounce.

Source: Livemoney (May 18, 2016 - 5:01 PM EDT)

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