S&P, Nasdaq Dip Ahead of Fed Minutes; Dow Hits Record High

(Reuters) -
Traders Patrick Casey, left, and Peter Tuchman work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq slipped on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s minutes from its most recent meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record intraday high for the eighth time in nine sessions, powered by a 4 percent gain in DuPont shares.

The company is set to win antitrust approval from European Union regulators for its $130 billion merger with Dow Chemical , sources told Reuters. Dow Chemical’s shares rose nearly 5 percent.

Policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have been hinting at the possibility of a rate hike at an upcoming meeting. But traders have priced in slim chances of a move until June, despite a string of strong economic data in recent months.

“It is no more a question of whether they will raise rates, but when they are going to do it,” said Jim Davis, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group in Springfield, Illinois.

At 12:32 p.m. ET, the Dow was up 21.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 20,764.12, after hitting an all-time high of 20,766.94.

The S&P 500 was down 2.75 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,362.63 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 6.12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,859.83.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with energy falling the most. Three sectors were little changed, while materials and health gained.

Garmin shares were the top percentage gainers on the S&P, rising 8.7 percent after the GPS-devices maker posted its fifth-straight quarterly profit and sales beat.

Bristol-Myers gained 2.1 percent after billionaire investor Carl Icahn took a stake in the company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,814 to 998. On the Nasdaq, 1,759 issues fell and 1,003 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 39 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 108 new highs and 25 new lows.