Stocks Gain After Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks rose at the open on Wednesday, in the wake of the unexpectedly early release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy-setting meeting. The Dow Jones industrial average latelt rose 63.15 points or 0.43 percent, to 14,736.61. The S&P 500 gained 7.25 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,575.86. The Nasdaq Composite added 18.06 points or 0.56 percent, to 3,255.92.

Minutes from the most recent Fed meeting suggested that a few policymakers expected to slow the pace of
asset purchases by midyear and end them later this year, while several others expected to taper the rate
a bit later and halt the program by year-end.

Federal Reserve officials remained divided over how long they should keep buying bonds, according to the
minutes of the March 19-20 meeting released Wednesday. The Fed said that one member wanted to slow the
bond purchases immediately. A few more favored slowing the purchases at midyear, with the program ending
later in 2013.

The World Trade Organization slashed its forecast for trade growth in 2013 on Wednesday, saying it
feared protectionism was on the increase. It cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2013 to 3.3
percent from 4.5 percent and said trade grew only 2.0 percent in 2012.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have slashed their 2013, 2014 gold price forecasts for the second time in less
than two months.

China swung to a trade deficit of $880 million in March, the General Administration of Customs reported
Wednesday, as imports surged 14.1% from a year earlier.

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