US stocks trade higher ahead of Fed minutes

New York: US stocks traded higher as investors awaited the release of a meeting summary from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday gained 138.32 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 25,103.07, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 increased 20.23 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 2,736.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 79.43 points, or 1.10 per cent, to 7,313.74.

The US central bank will release the minutes from its January meeting in the afternoon. Wall Street is looking for clues about inflation and interest rates.

On the economic front, US manufacturers reported a strong upturn in business conditions during February, which continued the positive trend seen at the start of this year.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 55.9 in February from January’s 53.8, the fastest improvement in overall business conditions since October 2014.

Meanwhile, US home sales fell unexpectedly for a second consecutive month in January and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. All major regions saw monthly and annual sales declines last month.

The association said the existing home sales dropped 3.2 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million units last month.

On Tuesday, US stocks closed lower as higher Treasury yields kept investors on edge.