The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at a record level after climbing for a fifth straight session on Wednesday. Modest gains on Wall Street came after minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed broad agreement on plans to begin shrinking the central bank's balance sheet and also pointed to a likely rate increase next month. The S&P 500 gained 5.97 points, or 0.2%, to 2,404.39. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 24.31 points, or 0.4%, to 6,163.02, only several points below its all-time high close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 74.51 points, or 0.4%, at 21,012.42. Implied volatility as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index fell nearly 7% to below 10, hovering near its lowest levels since 1993.
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