Stocks cruise higher after Fed minutes

November 19 00:01 2015

Stocks are staying higher Wednesday, and getting a small boost by the release of the Fed minutes, as the Dow looks for a third straight day of gains. After the 2 p.m. ET release of the minutes from the Fed’s October meeting, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 1%, the S&P 500 is 1.2% higher and the Nasdaq composite is up 1.3%.the-percentage-of-americans-playing-the-stock-market-is-at-an-all-time-low

Financial markets have held up well this week after the deadly attacks in Paris Friday sparked global concern about the economic impact of terrorist violence. Oil prices fell as U.S. benchmark crude briefly dropped below $40 a barrel, falling as low as $39.91. At midday, oil was down 1.5% to $40.10.

European stocks were mostly lower with France’s CAC 40 down 0.8% and Germany’s DAX index falling 0.3%. London’s FTSE 100 was flat. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.3%. The Shanghai composite index fell 1%.

U.S. stocks ended mixed in a tight range Tuesday ahead of the start of the Christmas shopping season, amid worries that sales will be weak. The consumer price index rose 0.2% in October after two months of declines, which could increase the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates as early as next month.