Stocks Closed Slightly Higher after Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed policy makers remained divided on prospects for a near-term rate increase. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21.92 points, or 0.12%, to 18,573.94. The S&P 500 added 4.07 points, or 0.19%, to 2,182.22. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.55 points, or 0.03%, to 5,228.66.

Federal Reserve officials at their July meeting were relieved that their concerns over Brexit and the job market eased but were divided over whether that meant they should quickly hike interest rates again, according to the minutes of the policy meeting released Wednesday.

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) finished off its fiscal year with an earnings beat, the networking giant announced Wednesday, but it also announced a restructuring that will include the elimination of 5,500 jobs. Cisco reported quarterly earnings of $2.8 billion, or 56 cents a share, on sales of $12.64

Oil futures finished higher Wednesday, getting a lift from bigger-than-expected declines in U.S. supplies of crude. September West Texas Intermediate crude climbed by 21 cents, or 0.5%, to settle at $46.79 a barrel. October Brent crude added 62 cents, or 1.3%, to $49.89 a barrel.

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