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Markets Right Now: Stocks closing higher on Wall Street

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

U.S. stocks are closing slightly higher Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting signalled to investors that the central bank isn’t in a rush to raise rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.92 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 18,573.94. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 4.07 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,182.22 after falling as much as 10 points early on. The Nasdaq composite inched up 1.55 points to 5,228.66.

Utility companies made the biggest gain as low interest rates make their big dividend payments more appealing. Bond prices turned higher and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.55 per cent.

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12:00 p.m.

U.S. stocks are trading lower Wednesday as the market inches away from its recent record highs.

Retailers Target, Staples and Lowe’s are skidding after disappointing earnings. Investors are waiting for the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July policy setting meeting, due to be released later in the afternoon.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 78 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 18,474. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,169. The Nasdaq composite slid 28 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 5,199.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury was unchanged at 1.58 per cent. Gold, silver and copper fell. Oil was down 25 cents to $46.33 a barrel in New York.

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9:45 a.m.

U.S. stocks are opening slightly lower Wednesday with phone companies and utilities continuing to take the biggest losses.

Retailers traded on earnings reports. Target is down 7 per cent and Lowe’s is down 6 per cent after each company cut its profit outlook. Urban Outfitters jumped 16 per cent on solid sales.

The Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its latest meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 57 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 18,495. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 5 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,173. The Nasdaq composite slid 12 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,215.

Bond prices are rising and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.57 per cent. Oil slid 45 cents to $46.12 a barrel in New York. Gold, silver and copper also fell.