STORY: Stocks ended higher Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting showed that Fed officials were unanimous in believing the U.S. economy was strong as they grappled with reining in inflation without triggering a recession.
Gary Schlossberg, a global strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said that while he sees the chance of a U.S. recession as better than 50%, the FOMC minutes showed the Fed could ease up on rate hikes if conditions improve.
“I think the tone of the FOMC minutes pretty much confirmed what the market was anticipating before the release of those minutes that the Federal Reserve was taking on a slightly more dovish tone, giving themselves leeway later in the year for more moderate rate increases than what we expect to see over the next couple of meetings if inflation remains contained, if it begins to move a bit lower."
All three major indexes finished in the green, with the Dow ending six tenths of a percent higher, now up four days in a row. The S&P 500 finished up nearly a percent, while the Nasdaq gained 1.5%.
Shares of electric car maker Tesla jumped nearly 5% and e-commerce giant Amazon climbed 2.5% - the two megacaps providing the strongest lift to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.
Department store operator Nordstrom surged 14% after forecasting upbeat annual profit and revenue.
Shares of Kohl's finished almost 12% higher, after Reuters exclusively reported that bidders competing to acquire the retailer are preparing to make binding offers that are lower than their initial bids.
Also getting a lift from news of a possible buyout offer were shares of Wendy's, after a regulatory filing revealed that shareholder Nelson Peltz was considering a potential takeover bid for the fast-food chain.