for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

US STOCKS-S&P edges up in wake of Fed minutes

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Prison operator GEO tumbles on dividend suspension

* “Some time” before substantial progress seen on goals - Fed

* Dow down 0.03%, S&P 500 up 0.14%, Nasdaq up 0.07% (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to include Fed minutes, changes byline, adds NEW YORK dateline)

NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq slightly added to gains while the Dow pared declines on Wednesday the Federal Reserve released minutes from last month’s meeting that reinforced the U.S. central bank’s position that it will be patient before raising rates.

The major indexes held near unchanged for most of the day but the S&P 500 climbed to a session high after the minutes, in which Fed officials said it would likely take “some time” for substantial further progress on goals of maximum employment and stable prices.

The rise in stock prices was muted, analysts said, because many investors still doubt whether the Fed will hold off on raising rates as long as the minutes indicated.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what the Fed is going to do and the futures markets think the Fed is going to raise rates earlier than the Fed says they are going to,” said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta, Georgia.

“That is going to take a while to work out, the market has been wrong before but also the Fed has followed the market before.”

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged higher after the minutes. Still, it has been backing away from a 14-month high of 1.776% hit on March 30. The pullback in yields has helped growth names and lifted technology and communication services stocks on the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11.09 points, or 0.03%, to 33,419.15, the S&P 500 gained 5.64 points, or 0.14%, to 4,079.58 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.92 points, or 0.07%, to 13,708.30.

Value stocks, which include economically sensitive sectors such as materials and industrials SPLRCI>, maintain a strong lead this year over their growth counterparts, dominantly tech-related firms.

However, a resurgence in demand for tech stocks in recent sessions amid renewed restrictions in Canada and parts of Europe has raised questions over the longevity of value trade.

Growth stocks outperformed value shares on Wednesday.

The upcoming earnings season and progress in a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure proposal could decide Wall Street’s path forward.

Analysts have raised expectations for first-quarter S&P 500 earnings increase to 24.2%, according to Refinitiv IBES data as of April 1, versus 21% forecast on Feb. 5.

But the sharp run up in earnings expectations could leaved the market primed for disappointment.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the United States could be in store for an economic boom through 2023 if more adults get vaccinated and federal spending continues.

Prison operator GEO Group fell 19.55% after suspending quarterly dividend payments.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.33-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.94-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 58 new highs and 26 new lows.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by David Gregorio

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up