US STOCKS-Wall Street seesaws after Fed minutes release

·3 min read

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* Major U.S. stock indexes whipsaw following Fed minutes release

* Nordstrom climbs after raising profit outlook

* Indexes up: Dow 0.18%, S&P 0.61%, Nasdaq 1.11% (Updates with market reaction to Fed minutes, adds NEW YORK dateline, changes byline)

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street gyrated on Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent monetary policy meeting showed its members were unanimous in their sentiment that the U.S. economy was very strong as they grappled with how to rein in inflation without triggering a recession.

The minutes - taken at the Federal Open Market Committee's May meeting, which culminated in a 50-basis-point hike in the Fed funds target rate, the biggest jump in 22 years - showed most of its members judged that further such rate hikes would "likely be appropriate" at its upcoming June and July meetings.

"We know the Fed will be raising rates, but it's unclear what happens after that," said Mark Stoeckle, chief executive officer at Adams Funds in Baltimore. "The Fed’s bed has been made - we know what's going to happen in the next couple of months."

All three major U.S. stock indexes fluctuated earlier in the session amid increasing murmurs stemming from business and consumer surveys, economic data and corporate earnings reports suggesting a cooling economy, even as the Fed prepares to toss a bucket of cold water on it to tackle decades-high inflation.

Fears that overly aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed could tip the economy into recession despite evidence that inflation peaked in March has fueled those concerns.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department is due to release its second take on first-quarter GDP, which analysts expect to slow a slightly shallower contraction than the 1.4% quarterly annualized drop originally reported.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report will follow on Friday, which will provide further clues regarding consumer spending and whether inflation peaked in March, as other indicators have suggested.

"People are going to be looking for anything about an ongoing (economic) slowdown," said Robert Cantwell, portfolio manager at Upholdings in Nashville, Tennessee. "That’s the whole game now: If we slow the economy down, we might slow inflation down."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.94 points, or 0.18%, to 31,985.56; the S&P 500 gained 24.19 points, or 0.61%, to 3,965.67; and the Nasdaq Composite added 125.40 points, or 1.11%, to 11,389.85.

Electric auto maker Tesla Inc and retail powerhouse Amazon.com provided the strongest lift to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, rising 2.7% and 5.5%, respectively.

Chip maker Nvidia Corp advanced 4.2% ahead of its first-quarter results due after the bell.

Department store operator Nordstrom Inc surged 12.3% on the heels of its upbeat annual profit and revenue forecasts.

Fast-food chain Wendy's Co jumped 10.0% after a regulatory filing revealed that shareholder Nelson Peltz was considering a potential takeover bid for the company. (Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Anisha Sircar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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