U.S. stocks close higher, bringing major indexes to another record

U.S. stock benchmarks closed at records on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting gathering in September indicated a desire to increase rates one additional time despite stubbornly low inflation. Some Fed policy members expressed concerns about inflation running below its 2% annual target, while others worried that waiting for inflation to normalize policy could lead to an overheated market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 42.21 points, or 0.2%, at 22,872.89, supported by sharp climbs in the shares of components McDonald’s Corp. and Johnson & Johnson The S&P 500 index ended about 4.6 points, or 0.2%, at 2,555.24, with shares of retailing giants Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. leading gains in the broad-market index. Meanwhile, the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 16.30 points, or 0.3%, to 6,603.55. All three benchmarks ended at records. The account of the Fed’s discussions during its September meeting suggests that the central bank would likely raise rates at a gradual pace. In other corporate news, shares of BlackRock Inc. rose after posting better-than-expected earnings, with a spate of earnings from financials set to be released early Thursday.

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