U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes revealed that the central bank intends to issue smaller rate hikes in the coming months as inflation cools.
Minutes from the Fed's November meeting indicated that the central bank is making headway in its fight against rising inflation and intends to decrease the pace of rate hikes, implying lower increases through the end of this year and into 2023.
"A substantial majority of participants judged that a slowing in the pace of increase would likely soon be appropriate," the minutes stated. "The uncertain lags and magnitudes associated with the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation were among the reasons cited regarding why such an assessment was important."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 95.96 points, or 0.28%, to close at 34,194.06. The S&P 500 rose 0.59% to 4,027.26, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.99% to 11,285.32.
Earlier in November, the Fed approved a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point increase, raising interest rates to their highest level since 2008. Economists anticipate a 0.5 percentage point rise in December.
Data on jobless claims for the week ending Nov. 19 were higher than expected, coming in at 240,000 when economists surveyed by Dow Jones had predicted 225,000. The outcome suggests that the labor market might be deteriorating. But at the same time, orders for durable goods in October came in at 1%, which was higher than the 0.5% forecast.
After the release of the Fed minutes, U.S. Treasury yields declined. Benchmark 10-year note yields fell to 3.713%, and two-year note yields fell to 4.4876%.
All three major indexes were trading higher on Wall Street, powered by advances in technology, consumer discretionary, communication, healthcare, and industrial companies.
Following the release of the Fed minutes, the U.S. dollar dropped across the board. The dollar index dropped 0.924%, while the euro rose 0.9% to $1.0395.
As the U.S. currency sank, gold prices rose. Spot gold increased by 0.7% to $1,751.84 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures increased by 0.29% to $1,743.30 per ounce.
Oil prices plummeted more than 3%, continuing a streak of turbulent trading, as the Group of Seven (G7) nations considered a price cap on Russian oil above the current market level and gasoline stocks in the United States grew by more than economists predicted.
Markets will be closed on Thursday and end early on Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.