Stocks rose in another volatile session on Wednesday after a summary of the Federal Reserve's meeting in December reiterated comments from the central bank's chairman from last week about patience regarding monetary policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.67 points to close at 23,879.12, posting its fourth straight day of gains. The S&P 500 advanced 0.4 percent to 2,584.96 — notching a four-day winning streak, which was its longest since September — as the tech and energy sectors outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.87 percent to 6,957.08 as Apple gained 1.7 percent. Energy gained 1.5 percent as a sector, boosted by a 5.2 percent in U.S. crude prices.
Equities pared gains in the last hour of trading as it appeared a meeting over the shutdown between President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership did not go well. The president tweeted the meeting was "a total waste of time." Sen. Chuck Schumer said the president walked out of the meeting.
Peter Boockvar, Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment strategist, said the president's tweet had a slight negative impact on the market. The market "hasn't cared at all up to this point. I don't know whether today is going to all of a sudden make them care. the market has gone straight up for a week. Up to this point they haven't cared, and both sides dug in. I don't think the market believes it's going to have much of an impact," Boockvar said.
The Fed minutes pointed to a backdrop of low inflation in the U.S., meaning the central bank can "afford to be patient about further policy firming." They also indicated that some Fed officials think a "relatively limited amount" of rate hikes may be coming.
"All the minutes are doing is confirming what they had already hinted at," said Larry McDonald, editor of The Bear Traps Report. "The Fed speak before the minutes was like a fire hose to calm down the markets."
The minutes come after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week the Fed would be "patient" with rising rates.
Investors also weighed the latest developments surrounding U.S.-China trade talks. Discussions over trade between mid-level officials from Washington and Beijing concluded on Wednesday. U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney said earlier on Wednesday that he thought negotiations "went just fine." He added: "It's been a good one for us."
Caterpillar rose 0.4 percent while Boeing gained nearly 1 percent. These stocks are largely seen as a bellwethers for trade because of the companies' exposure to overseas markets.