Stocks closed higher on Wall Street as investors applauded encouraging quarterly results from major retailers, the AP reports. Target soared 20% Wednesday after releasing earnings that blew past analysts' expectations. Lowe's also jumped 10% after its results beat forecasts. Technology companies accounted for a big share of the gains. Microsoft and Apple each rose 1.1%.
Traders had a muted reaction to minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month. Officials were divided in their decision to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade. The S&P 500 rose 23 points, or 0.8%, to 2,924. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 240, or 0.9%, to 26,202. The Nasdaq climbed 71, or 0.9%, to 8,020. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.59% from 1.56%.
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