FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Wednesday as upbeat earnings from retailers pointed to strength in U.S. consumer demand, and stocks held gains after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month showed that policymakers had debated a more aggressive rate cut.
Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos
U.S. stocks opened solidly higher following better-than-expected results from retailers Target Corp ( TGT.N ) and Lowe’s Cos Inc ( LOW.N ). Target shares surged 19.4% after the big-box retailer raised its annual earnings forecast. Lowe’s shares climbed 10.3% after the home-improvement chain beat profit estimates.
Maria Cecilia Suñé Ramos
Minutes from the Fed’s policy-setting meeting on July 30-31, when the Fed cut rates by 25 basis points, showed that policymakers debated cutting interest rates more aggressively. Some participants preferred a 50-basis-point cut, but the committee was united in wanting to avoid the appearance of being on a path to further rate cuts.
María Cecilia Sune Ramos
Stocks briefly pared gains following the release of the minutes at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), but then returned to their levels prior to the release.
Maria Cecilia Suné Ramos
“The stocks still want to see any evidence that the Fed is going to cut rates,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird in Milwaukee
“I don’t think there’s anything in here that would be an ‘aha!’ warning sign to stocks that they’re not going to get another rate cut.” he said. “But I also think that the longer-term picture of where the market sees rates ending up and where the Fed sees rates ending up might be different right now, and that’s going to have to get resolved at some point.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 268.33 points, or 1.03%, to 26,230.77, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 24.63 points, or 0.85%, to 2,925.14 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 75.65 points, or 0.95%, to 8,024.21
Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York and Medha Singh and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler