U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday, as investors mulled over the minutes from last month’s Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting and waited for Friday’s all-important December jobs report.
In U.S. economic news, the Fed minutes did not reveal anything shocking. The main takeaway was that the central bank wants to move “cautiously” with its plans to taper its bond buying. Data from payroll processor ADP showed that private sector hiring gained momentum in December, an encouraging sign ahead of the Labor Department’s closely-watched December jobs report.
The dollar lost ground against the euro, the pound, and the yen. Light sweet crude oil for February delivery dropped $1.34 to $92.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures lost $4.10 to $1,225.50 an ounce.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68.2, or 0.41 percent, to 16,462.74. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index lowered 0.39, or 0.02 percent, to 1,837.49. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 12.43, or 0.30 percent, to 4,165.61.