US stocks rise as investors digest Fed minutes showing tapering on track for November

US stocks rise as investors digest Fed minutes showing tapering on track for November
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • US stocks closed mixed as investors digested Fed meeting minutes showing tapering asset purchases is on track to begin in November.
  • CPI rose 0.4% in September, exceeding the median forecast of a 0.3% gain.
  • Oil prices slipped while gold rose.

US stocks ended higher on Wednesday as investors digested minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting in September, which showed central bank officials broadly agreeing to begin tapering assets as soon as November, scaling back pandemic-era support for the economy.

"Participants generally assessed that, provided that the economic recovery remained broadly on track, a gradual tapering process that concluded around the middle of next year would likely be appropriate," minutes from the September 21-22 meeting said.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq outpaced the S&P 500 and the Dow, led by mega-cap tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft as the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 1.545%.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

The minutes released were a confirmation on Fed plans but conveyed nothing unexpected, said Lawrence Gillum, fixed income strategist for LPL Financial, in a note.


"There wasn't much new information to move markets," he said. "The tapering process could start in either mid-November or mid-December-we still think November but one month isn't going to matter to markets at this point. There was some interesting discussion on lift-off though and it looks like the Committee remains divided."

The Consumer Price Index - a commonly used measure of US inflation - rose 0.4% in September, exceeding the median forecast of a 0.3% gain from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The print shows price growth unexpectedly picking up from the 0.3% jump seen through August.

Koss surged 43% in two days after meme stock fans cheered the headphone-maker's patent victory over Apple. Another occasional meme stock, Plug Power, climbed 13% after the hydrogen fuel-cell developer said it inked partnerships with Airbus and Phillips 66.

In cryptocurrencies, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe said a collapse in the crypto market is "plausible," and regulatory action is urgently needed.

Meanwhile, the US has unseated China as the world's biggest bitcoin miner, accounting for a third of the global hash rate after Beijing banned all cryptocurrency transactions, data from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance published on Wednesday showed.


Oil prices slipped. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.14% to $80.53 per barrel. Brent oil, the international benchmark, turned lower, down 0.19% to $83.26.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told CNBC the price of oil could reach $100 a barrel as global energy demand for the commodity skyrockets while supply continues to remain tight.

Gold rose 0.89% to $1,776.08 per ounce.