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US stocks trading higher ahead of Fed minutes

ALEX VEIGAAP Business Writer Published: May 21, 2014 11:30 AM
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Major U.S. stock indexes rebounded in morning trading Wednesday as investors monitored the latest batch of corporate earnings and awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month. Tiffany & Co. jumped after the upscale jewelry chain reported strong quarterly results.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,885 as of 11:14 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 154 points, or 0.9 percent, to 16,528. The Nasdaq composite added 30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,127.

FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve was set to release the minutes of last month's meeting of its policymaking committee. Following the April 29-30 meeting, the central bank said it would further cut its bond purchases, noting that the U.S. job market needed less help. Traders will be watching for clues about how quickly the central bank plans to reduce its economic stimulus.

JEWEL IN THE CROWN: Tiffany jumped $8.19, or 9.3 percent, to $96.43 after the company said that its earnings spiked 50 percent in the first quarter as worldwide sales jumped by double digits and the company raised its prices. The results beat analysts' expectations and the jeweler raised its earnings forecast for the year.

"Retail is very fickle right now, but some sectors are doing well, like luxury," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management.

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DATA BREACH EFFECT: Target reported a 16 percent drop in first-quarter earnings, reflecting the lingering effects of a massive customer data breach and troubled expansion plans in Canada. Still, the retailer said it saw significant improvement in a key revenue metric from what it experienced shortly after the data breach. Its shares rose 37 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $56.99.

SECTOR MONITOR: Nine of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 rose, led by consumer discretionary and financial stocks. Utilities edged lower.

IN THE DOG HOUSE: PetSmart dropped $4.83, or 7.8 percent, to $57.40 after the pet store chain reported disappointing revenue for the first quarter and slashed its earnings outlook for the current quarter and year.

BONDS AND COMMODITIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.55 percent from 2.51 percent on Tuesday. The price of crude oil rose $1.03, or 1 percent, to $103.36 a barrel.

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