Stocks Reverse Losses on Fed Minutes

Stocks closed slightly higher Wednesday — paring earlier losses — after the U.S.Federal Reserve said it would be comfortable letting inflation temporarily run above its inflation target.

The Dow Jones Industrials recovered 52.4 points to 24,886.81, led higher by gains in Boeing and McDonald’s.

The S&P 500 moved forward 8.85 points to 2,733.29, after a decline in interest rates sparked strong performance from utilities and real estate.

The NASDAQ dug out of the mud and progressed 47.5 points to 7,425.96, as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix led technology stocks higher.

Fed officials said that they’d be comfortable allowing inflation to briefly run above its target as the economy continues to rebound, according to the central bank’s May meeting minutes.

Specifically, the minutes said “a temporary period of inflation modestly above 2% would be consistent with the Committee’s symmetric inflation objective.”

The Dow started the day down more than 100 points after retail giant Target reported earnings that missed expectations while trade talks with China remained uncertain after President Donald Trump said the current dealmaking may be “too hard to get done.”

Shares of Minneapolis-based Target sank more than 5.5% on Wednesday after it reported first-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

The company blamed poor spring weather for the disappointing performance as it works to remodel many of its locations

Shares of industrial conglomerate General Electric fell 7.2% Wednesday — its worst one-day performance since 2009— after chief executive

John Flannery said he expects no profit growth this year in its already stagnant power business.

Flannery declined to comment about whether the company would cut the company’s dividend again in 2019.

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s also missed expectations for the first quarter, reporting a rise in sales of just 0.6% versus expectations of a 3% increase

Its stock, however, rose more than 10% after it maintained its annual financial targets and famed hedge fund manager Bill Ackman revealed a $1-billion stake in the company.

High-end jeweler Tiffany & Co., meanwhile, easily beat analysts’ estimates. The company’s stock rose more than 23% after reporting earning per share of $1.14 versus expectations of 83 cents. It also raised its full-year guidance in light of the solid beat.

The New York-based company suggested its comeback plan is working to retain price-conscious millennial shoppers from drifting to new competitors.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury were sharply higher, lowering yields to 2.99% from Tuesday’s 3.06%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices dumped 43 cents at $71.77U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices poked up $1.10 at $1,293.10U.S. an ounce.

This article provided by NewsEdge.