US stocks are little changed in trading ahead of release of Federal Reserve meeting minutes

Energy Associated Press

US stocks are little changed in early morning trading Wednesday as investors weigh several earnings reports and await the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policymaking meeting.

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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average inched up two points to 18,315 as of 10:22 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped up a point to 2,127. The Nasdaq composite declined five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,064.

CRAFT CRASH: Etsy plunged 20 percent after its first earnings report as a publicly traded company showed a hefty quarterly loss. Stock in the e-commerce retailer of crafts plunged $4.55 to $16.45.

SUPPLY SLIP: Staples fell $39 cents, or 3 percent, to $16.02 after reporting a sharp drop in first-quarter earnings

LOWER LOWE'S: The home-improvement retailer Lowe's sank 5 percent on earnings and revenue that fell short of what analysts were looking for. The stock fell $2.94 to $68.89.

FED MINUTES: The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to release minutes from its April 28-29 meeting, when it downgraded its view of the U.S. economy and offered no sign that a rate increase might be coming soon. Investors will study the minutes to try to divine the timing of the first rate increase since the global financial crisis.

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EUROPE DOWN: Germany's DAX edged down 0.1 percent. France's CAC 40 and Britain's FTSE 100 were flat.

ASIA UP: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.9 percent and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.9 percent after robust U.S. housing data boosted the dollar and gave a lift to exporter stocks. China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.4 percent lower.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude gained 79 cents to $58.78 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $2.25 on Tuesday to close at $57.99.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 121.11 yen from 120.67 yen. The euro declined to $1.1102 from $1.1147.

BONDS: The price of U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.28 percent from 2.30 percent late Tuesday.

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Lee reported from Seoul, South Korea.