Stocks Opened Higher ahead of Fed Minutes

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting. The Dow Industrial Average lately gained 31.43 points, or 0.16%, to 19,913.19. The S&P 500 climbed 7.54 points, or 0.33%, to 2,265.37. The Nasdaq Composite added 23.35 points, or 0.43%, to 5,452.43.

An account of the confab, where the U.S. central bank raised interest rates for only the second time in about a decade, are due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday. The minutes could shed more light on the pace of interest-rate hikes and how policy makers will respond to President-elect Donald Trump and influence currency markets.

Oil prices ticked higher on Wednesday on expectations that U.S. crude inventories are falling and signs that oil producers will stick to agreed output cuts that took effect this week. Brent crude futures were up 10 cents at $55.57 a barrel by 1110 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at $52.42 per barrel, up 9 cents.

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