* Fed’s minutes on July policy meeting expected at 1400 ET
* Indexes up: Dow 0.20 pct, S&P 0.19 pct, Nasdaq 0.24 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Sruthi Shankar
Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks pared gains on Wednesday afternoon after President Donald Trump said he is disbanding his manufacturing council as well as the strategy and policy forum.
Trump’s move comes 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.
At 13:18 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 44.93 points, or 0.2 percent, at 22,043.92 and the S&P 500 was up 4.77 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,469.38.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 14.97 points, or 0.24 percent, at 6,347.99. Investors will look for clues on future interest rake hikes this year from the minutes scheduled for release at 1400 ET (1800 GMT).
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”.
“If the minutes suggest a deviation, whether them being more hawkish or more dovish, that may cause the market to change direction,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
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.
However, recent hawkish comments by New York Fed chief William Dudley advocating for another rate hike this year and strong retail sales data on Tuesday have upped the odds.
Chances of a December hike rose to 49.2 percent, up from 42 percent at the start of the week, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,793 to 1,016. On the Nasdaq, 1,762 issues rose and 1,019 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)