Wall Street market report
- 20 August 2014
- From the section Business
(Close): US shares mostly closed higher on Wednesday despite minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting suggesting it may raise interest rates earlier than expected.
Policymakers "generally agreed" that the jobs market was improving faster than expected, revealed the minutes.
However, the tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 1.03 points to 4,526.48.
The Fed had said in its policy statement following its July meeting that there was "significant" labor market slack, but the minutes said "Labor market conditions had moved noticeably closer to those viewed as normal in the longer run."
Capital Economics economist Paul Dales said the statement suggested the committee "had started to shift its stance".
"The Fed has moved closer towards raising interest rates," he added.
The US central bank has kept benchmark interest rates near zero since December 2008, but has indicated it plans to move them up sometime next year.
Meanwhile, on the stock market shares in teenage fashion chain American Eagle Outfitters were one of the top risers, jumping 12% as its latest earnings beat forecasts.
And shares in Bank of America rose 0.5% on reports the company was close to a $17bn (£10.2bn) agreement with the Justice Department to settle charges it misled investors on mortgage-linked securities in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.