Stocks rise after Fed minutes; Brent falls

Wed Jul 9, 2014 4:53pm EDT
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Wall Street on Wednesday, lifting a global equities gauge as the Federal Reserve detailed its plan to allow a strengthening economy to fend for itself, while Brent fell as Libyan oil pumps came back online.

Minutes from the most recent Fed meeting showed the U.S. central bank has begun detailing plans to ease the world's largest economy out of an era of loose monetary policy, while its asset purchases will likely end in October.

Stocks on Wall Street traded higher after the release of the minutes and closed near session highs, erasing about half the losses sustained in the previous two sessions.

"The market, after digesting the Fed minutes, came to the conclusion that the bond-buying program ending in October is a sign of economic strength," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. "So while it was a bit more hawkish, the conclusion is the economy doesn’t need any more crutches."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 78.99 points or 0.47 percent, to 16,985.61, the S&P 500 gained 9.12 points or 0.46 percent, to 1,972.83 and the Nasdaq Composite added 27.57 points or 0.63 percent, to 4,419.03.

The FTSEuroFirst 300 index of leading European shares was flat on the day and MSCI's global gauge of stocks edged up 0.2 percent. U.S. dollar-denominated Nikkei futures rose 0.6 percent.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's speech out of London didn't alter markets much, as he reiterated his message that the ECB is ready to use "unconventional instruments" if needed to support growth.

Brent crude oil hit a one-month low near $108 a barrel after a Libyan oilfield restarted and supply worries faded, while weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose and gasoline demand faltered.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid