U.S. Markets closed

Stocks End Higher Following Fed Minutes

Kevin O'Shaughnessy

U.S. Market
Stocks finished the day above the flat line following the Federal Open Market Committee's release of its June meeting minutes.

The FOMC revealed that committee members agreed to fully end their bond-buying program by October should the economy continue to improve in line with their expectations. The Fed will continue tapering the asset purchases in increments at its next three meetings, concluding with that month. Treasury prices edged higher after the release of the minutes as Fed officials gave no concrete indication of when they would implement a rate increase.

The Dow and the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.6%.

Stocks on the Move
After Tuesday's closing bell, Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicked off the summer earnings season on a high note by reporting second-quarter profit and revenue that came in ahead of Wall Street expectations. The aluminum giant posted a profit of $138 million compared with a loss of $119 million from the same time last year. Second-quarter sales dropped slightly to $5.84 billion but were still above the Street's forecast of $5.63 billion. The firm maintained its forecast for global aluminum demand. Shares ended 5.7% higher.

Citigroup (C) is close to reaching an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department in which the bank would pay about $7 billion stemming from allegations of its poor handling of mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis. The bank and the Justice Department are seemingly meeting in the middle compared with the respective financial penalties that each party sought a few weeks ago. Citi shares fell 0.1%.