Wall Street Opens Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes

Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday, hoping to secure a third straight day of gains. Oil prices climbed and positive economic data helped push stocks higher. The Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes will be released later this afternoon.

In morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added over 100 points. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) gave the biggest boost to the index. Dow transports saw gains of over 1%.

The S&P 500 broke the 1,900 threshold, a psychologically key level, for the first time since early February. The financial sector saw some of the highest gains.

The Nasdaq composite saw gains of 42 points (0.96%) to reach 4,478.

Crude oil futures in the U.S. were higher, but still off of recent session highs, gaining 63 cents. Investors are still awaiting the results of the meeting between Tehran oil producers. WTI was trading over 1% higher at $29 a barrel. Brent crude was over 2% higher at nearly $32.90 per barrel.

Gold futures for April saw gains of 10 cents, trading at $1,208.40 an ounce.

Upbeat economic data has helped boost the market on Wednesday. Industrial production jumped 0.9% in January, and U.S. producer prices saw an unexpected rise, climbing 0.1% after falling 0.2% in the month of December. PPI (excluding energy and food) increased 0.4%.

Housing starts for January fell 3.8%, and building permits also tumbled 0.2%.

Treasury yields were higher on the news, with the 10-year yield reaching 1.81% and the 2-year yield climbing to 0.74%.

The U.S. dollar index was marginally higher against other major currencies. The yen was at 114.25 and the euro at $1.11 against the dollar.

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Daniel Simmons