New York Report: US rally fizzles on Fed minutes

The S&P 500 finished nearly flat yesterday as equity indexes had a muted reaction to the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, while Micron’s strong results helped buoy the Nasdaq.

Minutes of the Fed’s December 17-18 meeting, after which the US central bank announced its decision to begin trimming its monthly bond purchases, showed Fed officials were careful to tread lightly as they embarked on the tapering process.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68.20 points or 0.41 per cent, to end at 16,462.74. The S&P 500 dipped just 0.39 of a point, or 0.02 per cent, to finish at 1,837.49. The Nasdaq Composite rose 12.43 points or 0.30 per cent, to close at 4,165.611. The S&P 500 has fallen 0.6 per cent over the first five sessions of the year. Micron Technology shares soared 9.9 per cent to close at $23.87, while Microsoft shares slid 1.8 per cent to $35.76