US STOCKS-Wall Street stocks close slightly higher after Fed minutes

miércoles 12 de octubre de 2016 16:34 GYT

* Expectations for rate hike unchanged after Fed minutes

* Humana biggest loser on S&P 500; Cisco weighs on Nasdaq

* Dow up 0.09 pct, S&P 0.11 pct, Nasdaq down 0.15 pct (Updates after close, adds commentary)

By Sinead Carew

Oct 12 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average indexes ended Wednesday's session with small gains as expectations for timing on a rate hike were largely unchanged after U.S. Federal Reserve minutes and investors waited on earnings reports.

Several voting policymakers judged a rate hike would be warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen, according to minutes from the September policy meeting released Wednesday afternoon.

While keeping rates low has risks, the Fed decided it was more risky to raise rates when they are concerned we might be seeing a slowdown in economic growth, said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis.

"Unfortunately, they also didn't provide a lot of clarity," Warne said.

Traders have priced in small odds of a rate increase next month as the meeting falls days ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. The odds were still in favor of a December move, but down to 66 percent from 71 percent the day before, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.   Continuación...