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Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends up but off highs after Fed minutes

Overnight Markets: Wall Street ends up but off highs after Fed minutes

Wall Street closed slightly firmer on Wednesday but off the day's highs after Federal Reserve minutes suggested policymakers are worried about weak inflation but eager to commence an unwind of its $4.5 trillion asset portfolio.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 26 points, or 0.12%, to end at 22,025, the S&P 500 gained four points, or 0.14%, to 2,468 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12 points, or 0.19%, to 6,345.

Shares erased gains following US President Donald Trump's disbanding of two high-profile business advisory councils after two more CEOs resigned from the manufacturing council on Wednesday in response to his comments on weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wall Street stayed volatile following the release of the last Federal Reserve meeting's minutes, which showed policymakers appeared increasingly wary about recent weak inflation.

The S&P materials index rose the most of any sector, gaining 0.9%, following gains in copper and other metals.

After the bell, shares of Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) fell 2.3% after it reported results.

In regular trading, Target Corp. rose 3.6% after the retailer reported an increase in same-store sales and lifted its full-year adjusted profit outlook.

Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. soared 18% after the retailer late Tuesday reported earnings that easily beat estimates.

Agilent Technologies Inc. also reported profit above forecasts, sending shares 4.7% higher as one of the biggest percentage gainers among S&P 500 components.

Campbell Soup Co. added 0.5% and 3M Co. rose 0.4% after chief executives of the two companies stepped down from Trump’s manufacturing initiative.

In Asia, most shares trended higher on Thursday in morning session after a rally in the dollar was halted on political turbulence stateside while investors digested the Wednesday release of the Fed minutes.

Japan's Nikkei 225 edged down 0.16%. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi advanced 0.49%. Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.20%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.21%. Mainland markets were also positive. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.44% and the Shenzhen Composite was higher by 0.14%.

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