NEW YORK – The U.S. stock market edged mostly lower on Wednesday, easing back from its latest all-time highs.
The markets barely budged after the midafternoon release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting. The transcript showed that policymakers were less likely to raise interest rates in June than investors previously thought.
The decline follows two straight days of record closing highs for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.
"The market had really gathered steam around a June tightening date, the minutes seem to have walked that back a bit," said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Global Asset Management.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 17.73 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,029.85. The S&P 500 eased 0.7 point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,099.68. The index closed at an all-time high of 2,100.34 on Tuesday.
The Nasdaq composite rose 7.10 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,906.36.
Energy stocks declined as the price of oil fell amid speculation that a recent rally in crude was excessive.
The price of benchmark U.S. crude, which had been rising last week, fell $1.39 to $52.14 a barrel Wednesday. The price of oil has jumped 16 percent since bottoming out at the end of January after a seven-month slump.