NEW YORK, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed Wednesday as Wall Street pondered over the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting amid economic reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 64.65 points, or 0.27 percent, to 23,526.18. The S&P 500 lost 1.95 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,597.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.88 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,867.36.
According to the minutes released in the afternoon, the Fed viewed a near-term increase in interest rates as possible but policymakers also expressed concerns about persistently low inflation, hinting that the rate hike pace could be more moderate than expected in 2018.
Fed officials agreed that the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate would depend on their assessments of realized and expected economic conditions relative to the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation, said the minutes.
The Fed left its benchmark interest rates unchanged earlier this month, but did leave the door open for a December rate hike.
On the economic front, U.S. new orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased 2.8 billion U.S. dollars or 1.2 percent to 236 billion dollars, missing market projection of a 0.4-percent gain, the Commerce Department announced Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in the week ending Nov. 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased by 13,000 from the previous week's revised level to 239,000, generally in line with market estimates, the U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday.
U.S. stock markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Day.