US STOCKS-Wall St ends up slightly as Fed minutes show split over rate timing

miércoles 17 de agosto de 2016 16:38 GYT

* Target, Lowe's fall after profit forecast cuts

* Fed minutes show members divided on whether to raise rates soon

* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.03 pct (Updates to close)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting showed voting members divided over whether to raise interest rates soon.

While policymakers agree that more economic data is needed before raising rates, some expect a hike will be needed soon, according to the minutes from the U.S. central bank's July 26-27 policy meeting.

On Tuesday, stocks slipped after New York Fed President William Dudley said a rate hike as soon as September was possible given evidence of wage gains.

Shares of utilities, which tend to outperform in lower-rate environment, added to gains following the minutes. The S&P utility index ended up 1.5 percent in its largest daily percentage gain since the end of June.

Losses in retailers including Target and Lowe's Companies following disappointing forecasts limited the day's gains, along with Cisco.   Continuación...