August 16, 2017 / 7:06 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St near flat; Trump disbands two advisory councils

* Fed’s minutes show policymakers’ concern about low inflation

* Trump dissolves 2 high-profile business advisory councils after CEOs quit

* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct (Updates with Fed meeting minutes)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were near flat on Wednesday as President Donald Trump’s move to disband his manufacturing council as well as the strategy and policy forum added to worries about the future of the White House’s agenda.

Stocks briefly regained some ground after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting. The minutes showed policymakers appeared increasingly wary about recent weak inflation and some called for a halt to further interest rate hikes until it was clear the trend was transitory.

Trump’s move came after two more CEOs resigned from the manufacturing council on Wednesday in response to the president’s comments on the Charlottesville violence over the weekend.

“That throws a little bit more doubt into the president’s abilities to push his policies through,” said David Schiegoleit, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management in Newport Beach, California.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 21.62 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,020.61, the S&P 500 had gained 1.79 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,466.4 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 5.26 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,338.27.

Fed policymakers unanimously decided to keep interest rates unchanged in the July 25-26 meeting and said they planned to reduce the central bank’s massive holdings of bonds “relatively soon”.

A slide in inflation readings in recent months, which remain below the Fed’s 2 percent target rate, have made the markets skeptical about a rate hike by December. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.51-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 49 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 98 new highs and 85 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Chizu Nomiyama)

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