U.S. stocks opened higher Wednesday ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve that could reveal clues about the timing and pace of interest-rate hikes. Investors were also digesting data from the U.S. housing market and hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 29 points, or 0.2%, higher at 17,518, while the S&P 500 index was up 5 points, or 0.3%, at 2,056. The Nasdaq Composite Index started up 19 points, or 0.4%, to 5,005. Meanwhile, shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. [s:NSC] surged 5.6% after Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. on Tuesday proposed a merger to create a transcontinental railroad company with potential for stronger earnings growth.
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