Stocks Ended Mixed after Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed on Wednesday, as the Fed minutes mostly confirmed market expectations for a rate hike in the second half of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.99 points, or 0.15%, to 18,285.40. The S&P 500 was down 1.98 points, or 0.09%, to 2,125.85. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.71 points, or 0.03%, to 5,071.74.

U.S. Federal Reserve officials believed it would be premature to raise interest rates in June and that a bump in inflation was being offset by a weaker labor market and softer data, according to minutes from the central bank’s April policy meeting.

Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) topped Wall Street estimates and raised its guidance for the year. The company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $1.51 billion. Salesforce.com forecast adjusted earnings of 17 cents to 18 cents a share for the second quarter, and earnings of 69 cents to 71 cents a share on revenue of $6.52 billion to $6.55 billion for the year.

Halliburton Co. and BP PLC have agreed to settle all remaining claims related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the companies said Wednesday.

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