The Dow rose 16 points on Wednesday. The S&P 500 crept 6 points higher to a fresh record closing high. The Nasdaq was down 9 points.
Minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting provided comfort that the world's most powerful central bank remains in no rush to raise interest rates. Fed officials say it will likely take "some time" for substantial further progress on their twin goals of more hiring and stable prices.
The minutes were a win-win for investors, says Raymond James Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam.
'The Fed's continuation to be in the market and the economy's corner continues to send a very positive tone to the market. The old saying: don't fight the Fed, well, the Fed says we're not we're not going to be doing anything for the foreseeable future. That should keep this economy's momentum moving higher.'
Optimistic words from the head of JPMorgan Chase also kept a floor under the market. CEO Jamie Dimon believes the U.S. could be in store for an economic boom that lasts through 2023 if more adults get vaccinated and federal spending continues. He also weighed in on the hot-topic of economic inequality. As part of his annual letter to shareholders, the head of America's biggest bank called for raising the federal minimum wage, improving training for jobs at high schools and colleges and making it easier for people with criminal records to get jobs.
Cruise ship operator Carnival lost nearly $2 billion in the first quarter, but bookings during the period surged 90% compared to the prior quarter before. CEO Arnold Donald warned it may have to shift home ports to other parts of the world if a U.S. no-sail order isn't lifted. Shares of Carnival touched a 52-week high.
In more economic news, the U.S. trade deficit surged to a record high in February as the nation's economic activity rebounded more quickly than trading partners.