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Stocks ended mixed Wednesday. The Dow fell 88 points to 25733 while the S&P 500 slipped 1 point to 2861. The Nasdaq Composite added 29 points to 7889.
The major averages fluctuated as investors digested the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. Today marked the S&P 500 Index’s longest-ever bull market run after hitting a new all-time high during yesterday’s session. In central bank news, the Fed’s August meeting minutes showed the committee plans to gradually raise interest rates if economic data continues to support the current outlook. On the data front, mortgage applications rose 4.2% in the most recent week. In a separate report, existing home sales fell 0.7% in July, dipping unexpectedly to a two-year low.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished lower. The Telecom sector lagged as Century Link fell 6.5% to $22.42 after being the subject of an analyst downgrade. Energy shares outperformed in tandem with WTI crude jumping 3.1% to $67.89/barrel after government data showed a steep decline in U.S. crude inventories. In earnings, Lowe’s surged 5.8% to $105.52 after beating analysts profit projections. Target climbed 3.2% to $85.94 after topping profit expectations and posting the best same-store comps in 13 years.
Breadth was negative on issues by 9:8 on the NYSE and was positive on issues by 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 3.5 billion shares.
Treasuries advanced with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down two basis points to 2.82%. In commodities, COMEX gold added 0.3% to $1196.30/ounce amid a weaker dollar.