Stocks Edged Higher at Open ahead of FOMC Minutes

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, as investors took an important reading of inflation, and updates from European and U.S. central banks, ahead of the FOMC minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 24.31 points, or 0.09%, to 26,174.89. The S&P 500 climbed 6.74 points, or 0.23%, to 2,884.94. The Nasdaq Composite added 23.83 points, or 0.30%, to 7,933.11.

Oil futures prices firmed early Wednesday, as investors digested a monthly OPEC report that showed significant March output cuts by the cartel and its allies. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery rose 35 cents, or 0.6%, at $64.33 a barrel. June Brent was up 22 cents, or 0.3%, to $70.83 a barrel.

the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) March meeting will be released at 2 p.m. ET. Market watchers will be looking for clues on just how dovish the Fed has gotten.

U.S. consumer prices increased by the most in 14 months in March. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent, boosted by increases in the costs of food, gasoline and rents.

The European Central Bank announced Wednesday it made no changes to its interest rates or monetary policy measures, as expected, leaving its main lending rate at 0% and the deposit rate at negative 0.4%.

CEOs from the big banks are in Capitol Hill to testify before the House Committee of Financial Services. The event is called “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 Years After the Financial Crisis.”

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