MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Close Higher Following Fed Minutes

By Dow Jones Business News, 

By Anora Mahmudova and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday after the FOMC minutes revealed that policy-makers decided to end the Fed's bond purchases by October if the economy stays on track.

The Fed plans to end purchases altogether with a final reduction of $15 billion at its October meeting, after trimming it by $10 billion at each meeting up to that point, while keeping the rates near zero for a considerable time. Investors took that as a bullish sign and pushed prices higher.

The S&P 500 (SPX) gained 9.12 points, or 0.5%, to 1,972.83. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed 79 points, or 0.5%, higher at 16,985.61. The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) rose 27.57 points, or 0.6%, to 4,419.03.

Read the recap of MarketWatch's live blog of today's stock-market action.

"In the short-term, we are concerned that there is a bit of optimism about the second-quarter earnings. Expectations for overall markets are high and this may lead to some short-term downside if companies come short," said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.

"We believe this quarter financials are likely to surprise on the upside, just because there is too much skepticism about the sector, the only one to deliver negative growth," Bell added.

Alcoa Inc. ( AA ) shares rallied 5.3% after the company said it swung to a second-quarter profit late Tuesday.

Shares of Gigamon Inc.( GIMO ) plunged 33% after the networking-hardware company lowered its second-quarter revenue guidance on Tuesday.

Container Store Group Inc. ( TCS ) shares sank 8.9% after the organization-product company posted a loss of 7 cents, a penny more than expected. (Read more in Movers and Shakers column: store-wd-40-are-stocks-to-watch-2014-07-09.)

In overseas markets, Europe's Stoxx 600 closed marginally lower, its fourth day in the red, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index lost 1.6% after softer-than-expected inflation data from China.

Crude-oil prices(CLQ4) fell as a smaller-than-expected decline in weekly U.S. crude supplies and signs of growing production from Libya helped the U.S. benchmark suffer a ninth consecutive day of declines. Gold futures(GCQ4) recouped on Wednesday some of what they lost in a trio of downbeat sessions, then extended gains in electronic trading following minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve 's June meeting.. The dollar (DXY) was mostly higher.

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This article appears in: US Markets , Economy , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AA , GIMO , TCS

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