After October's Fed minutes offered few clues about interest rates, stocks took a step backwards, closing out Wednesday's session lower. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks edged lower after the minutes from the Fed's October meeting were released- showing a central bank weighing market expectations of when U.S. interest rates would rise. IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh: SOUNDBITE: NARIMAN BEHRAVESH, CHIEF ECONOMIST, IHS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There are no signs of inflation so they don't need to rush into anything. Our best guess is we are looking at next June at the earliest. possibly later. certainly not sooner and then once they start our guess is they will do it slowly maybe raising you know rates a quarter of a percent 25 basis points every other meeting so that's the way they will do it. I suspect in the next few months assuming the economy does well they will adjust if not remove that phrase you know interest rates near zero for a considerable time. " Coming off a record setting Tuesday session- all three major U.S. indexes closed down. It was retail-o-rama on Wall Street. Lowe's and Target zoomed to 52-week highs. The home improvement chain raised its full-year forecasts for profit and sales. Quarterly sales rose as home owners spent more on renovations. Investors really liked Target for reducing the discounting it used to bring back customers scared off by the big data breach last year. And customers stocked up on back-to-school and health and beauty products, helping grow its comparable store sales in the U.S. for the first time in four quarters. And Staples shares rose as profits shot up more than 60 percent as demand for paper, ink and other products recovered from six quarters of decline. Dollar General shares were down almost three percent after The New York Post reported it may need to shut down more than 4,000 stores to get the blessing of regulators for its purchase of Family Dollar Stores. Tesla shares fell back after Morgan Stanley cut its delivery forecast next year on the Model X sport utility. More signs of the recovery in the housing market: Single-family home starts rose for a second straight month in October, and building permits jumped. In Europe, investors played it cautiously ahead of the Fed minutes report. Stocks ended flat.