Wall Street rallied back on Wednesday towards last week’s record highs after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers have started to detail how the central bank will end its easy monetary policy.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 79 points or 0.47%, to 16,986. The S&P 500 gained nine points or 0.46%, to 1,973. The Nasdaq Composite added 28 points or 0.63%, to 4,419.
The Fed signaled it will end its bond purchases in October and appeared near agreement on a plan to manage interest rates in the future, according to the minutes.
In corporate news, Alcoa Inc was one of the S&P 500's biggest advancers, ending up 5.7%. On Tuesday, the US aluminum producer reported adjusted second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street's forecasts. Wells Fargo & Co, which will report results on Friday, dipped 0.1%.
American Airlines Group shares climbed 4.3% on heavy volume. The company narrowed its second-quarter unit revenue growth forecast, raising the low end and scaling back the high end. Southwest Airlines Co gained 1.9%, while Delta Air Lines Inc rose 1.4%.
Elsewhere, Facebook Inc. advanced 3.5% to pace gains among a gauge of technology shares. Bob Evans Farms Inc. slid 4.4% as quarterly revenue missed estimates.
In Asia, shares pared an earlier gain on Thursday after Chinese trade data missed economists’ forecasts.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed at 147 as of 10:22 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index slipped 0.5%, reversing an initial gain, after a report showed core machine orders unexpectedly fell by a record 19.5% in May from the month before.
South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.1% after the central bank kept its key interest rate unchanged. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed after a report showed payrolls increased by 15,900 in June, beating estimates. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.2%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.2% after rising as much as 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite Index rallied 0.2%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index and Taiwan’s Taiex index both rose 0.4%.