Stocks Opened Lower as Fed Minutes Awaited

U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday as investors await the minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve meeting for clues on when interest rates will be hiked. The Dow Jones industrial average lately fell 148.12 points, or 0.85%, to 17,363.22, the S&P 500 lost 15.72 points, or 0.75%, to 2,081.20 and the Nasdaq composite dropped 38.58 points, or 0.76%, to 5,020.77.

U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in July, but a solid increase in the cost of shelter suggested inflation was probably stabilizing enough to support expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.

Target raised its annual profit outlook as the discounter’s efforts to spruce up fashions and other merchandise are resonating with shoppers.

Hormel Foods Corp. reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the July quarter. Hormel reported earnings of $146.9 million, or 54 cents on a share, up from earnings of $138 million, or 51 cents a share, last year. The company raised its earnings outlook for the year ending in October to $2.57 to $2.63 a share, from a previous forecast of between $2.50 and $2.60 a share.

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