U.S. equities closed mixed Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve's previous meeting hinted that a rate hike coming "fairly soon."
"We're back to figuring out what very ambiguous terms mean," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade. " For today, the market is interpreting this as not much has changed."
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 30 points higher and notched its ninth straight record close, with DuPont and 3m contributing the most gains. Shares of DuPont rose after a Reuters report, citing sources, that EU antitrust regulators are set to clear DuPont's merger with Dow Chemical.
The S&P 500 ended about 0.11 percent lower, with energy falling 1.59 percent to lead decliners. U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.36 percent lower at 53.59 per barrel.
"Based on the initial move, the market was hoping for more dovish language," said Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners. "I think this is pretty hedged language. It gives [Fed Chair] Janet Yellen some breathing room. This could mean anything between March and June."
The Nasdaq composite closed 0.09 percent lower.
"Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon" if data on jobs and inflation are "in line with or stronger than their current expectations" or if risks increased that the Fed might overshoot its goals, the meeting summary stated.
Wall Street was eagerly awaiting the release of these minutes, as they looked for more clues about when — and how many times — the Fed would raise rates this year.