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A afternoon rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average melted on Wednesday as Wall Street struggled to interpret minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting. The Dow was up 18 points, or less than 0.1%, at 24,995, eroding what had been a nearly 300-point rally in the wake of the release of minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The S&P 500 index was up 5 points, or 0.2%, but had been up more than 1% earlier in the session, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.5% at 7,265. A deflation of the brisker rise for stocks following meeting minutes from the late-January gathering of the Federal Open Market Committee was attributed in part a climb in yields for the 10-year Treasury note to a session high at 2.95%, while the dollar, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index also picked up steam up 0.4% at 90.09. Minutes from the Jan. 30-31 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that officials saw a stronger economy than at the end of 2017 and that more rate hikes were in the offing. The strengthening "increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate." To convey this message, officials altered their statement to point to "further gradual increases," according to the minutes. However, the Fed minutes don't incorporate recent signs of rapidly rising inflation, which could make the Fed more inclined to hike rates faster than the three that Wall Street is forecasting, some market participants speculated.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average Wednesday afternoon was rallying after the market digested minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy gathering. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 190 points, or 0.8%, to 25,151, the S&P 500 index climbed 0.7% at 2,736, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index , a proxy for risk appetite on Wall Street, climbed 1.1% to 7,308. Minutes from the Jan. 30-31 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that officials saw a stronger economy than at the end of 2017 and that more rate hikes were in the offing. The strengthening "increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate." To convey this message, officials altered their statement to point to "further gradual increases," according to the minutes. However, the Fed minutes don't incorporate recent signs of rapidly rising inflation, which could make the Fed more inclined to hike rates faster than the three that Wall Street is forecasting, some market participants speculated.

U.S. electricity utility Xcel Energy Inc. said Wednesday its board has approved an increase in its quarterly dividend to 38 cents a share from 36 cents. The new dividend will be payable April 20 to shareholders of record as of March 15. Shares were slightly higher, and are up 4% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

Shares of furniture maker La-Z-Boy Inc. soared more than 8% Wednesday, after the company posted better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter to Jan. 27. The company's adjusted per-share earnings came to 51 cents, as GAAP EPS of 25 cents included a 20 cents charge related to tax reform and a 5 cents charge for a legal settlement. That was ahead of the FactSet consensus of 46 cents. Sales rose 6% to $413.6 million, ahead of the $401 million consensus. "Margins were negatively impacted by rising raw material costs in November and December before a price increase began offsetting the inflation for January deliveries," said analysts at Stifel. "The price increase is expected to offset the inflation moving forward and the company does not expect additional margin pressure." Shares have gained 6% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk is leaving the board of OpenAI, a nonprofit focusing on artificial-intelligence research he helped co-found in 2015. In a blog post at OpenAI's website, the nonprofit said Musk will continue to donate to and to advise the organization. "As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon," it said. In the same post, OpenAI said Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, was "significantly" increasing his contribution to the organization. Musk has expressed concern that AI could end up being harmful to society, once calling it humanity's "biggest existential threat."

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