The S&P 500 ended modestly weaker, holding losses after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting confirmed a potential near-term rate hike. Roselle Chen reports.
Stocks didn't show much immediate reaction after the release of the Federal Reserve minutes. Many Fed policymakers at that January meeting said it may be appropriate to hike interest rates "fairly soon." Convergex's Nick Colas: SOUNDBITE: NICHOLAS COLAS, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, CONVERGEX, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It seems like the Fed is a little more likely to go next month instead of waiting until June as the market was expecting, but just a little bit of a tweak in the language and not very much at all." The maker of the blood clot preventer, Plavix - Bristol-Myers - among the day's top gainers on the S&P. Activist investor Carl Icahn bought a one percent stake and considers it a possible takeover target. Brighter picture at Dish Networks. The satellite TV provider swung to a quarterly profit from a loss. And it gained subscribers when Wall Street had been expecting a sharp loss. Profit and revenue fell at Toll Brothers, but its shares rose because the luxury homebuilder raised its sales forecast for the current year. In Europe. strong earnings and a rally in consumer stocks lifted shares to a 14-month high.