U.S. Stocks Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes

By Justin Yang and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Wall Street opens higher

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-- Market awaits Fed minutes

-- European, Asian stocks post gains

U.S. stocks opened higher Wednesday, supported by a bounceback in retail shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points, or 0.2%, to 22035 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.2%.

A day after retailers were among the worst performers in the S&P 500, Target led the group higher. Target shares were up 2.4% after the retailer reported that same-store sales growth outpaced analyst expectations in the most recent quarter. Target also raised its full-year earnings outlook.

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Urban Outfitters shares advanced 23% after the retailer beat Wall Street's quarterly earnings and sales projections.

Some investors and analysts are closely watching corporate earnings for signs of weakness. Although S&P 500 firms are on track for a second consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth, analysts currently forecast slower earnings growth for the July-to-September period.

Many investors were also awaiting the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes from its latest meeting later Wednesday, seeking clues on where interest rates are headed. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley recently told the Associated Press a third rate increase is still likely in 2017 if the economy meets expectations.

"I'm interested to see what the Fed has to say about the inflation landscape," said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.

Fed officials have been watching inflation, which has been sluggish, to determine whether it is a temporary phenomenon or a sign of underlying economic weakness.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.276%, according to Tradeweb, from 2.264% Tuesday. Yields rise as bond prices fall. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 16 others, edged up 0.1%, on track for a third straight day of gains after last week's fall amid tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.8%, on track for a third straight session of gains.

Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles advanced 3.1% after the company announced Wednesday it was joining a BMW-led self-driving car technology alliance. Chemical company Akzo Nobel climbed 1.1% after it reached a truce with activist investor firm Elliot Management.

Equities were broadly higher in Asia.

The Shanghai Composite Index pared early losses to trade 0.1% lower. Stocks were higher in Hong Kong, with the Hang Seng Index up 0.9%.

The South Korean Kospi outperformed as traders returned from a public holiday to catch up with the region's earlier gains. The benchmark index rose 0.6%.

"We have had an uncharacteristic bull market in the past few months," said Michael Parker, Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Bernstein. "During a bull market, the sharper the one-day selloff, the better the buying opportunity."

Amrith Ramkumar contributed to this article.

Write to Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 10:33 ET (14:33 GMT)