Wall St mixed on Fed minutes

United States stocks close mixed as latest FOMC minutes show growing support for tapering spending by end of 2013.

United States stocks closed mixed following the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest policy-setting meeting.

The minutes showed growing support among policymakers for beginning to taper the Fed's massive stimulus spending program later this year.

The minutes showed that about half of the Fed's policymakers support ending the $US85 billion-a-month bond-buying program by the end of 2013, though there remains some dissent.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed flat, down 8.68 points, or 0.06%, to 15,291.66 points. 

The S&P 500 index also closed flat, up 0.30 points, or 0.02%, to 1,652.62 points. 

The Nasdaq Composite closed up 16.50 points, or 0.47%, to 3,520.76 points, building on the previous session's gains that saw the Nasdaq close at its highest level since October 2000.

In the previous session, the Dow rose 0.5%, marking its fourth consecutive positive session and bringing it to within 0.7% of its May 28 record closing high of 15,409.39 points.

The minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on June 19 were released at 2pm EDT (0400 AEDT Thursday morning), with investors eager to evaluate signs of the central bank's intentions and timetable regarding stimulus measures.

US shares initially rose higher after the minutes were released, but lost their momentum and pulled back within an hour.

The previous FOMC meeting minutes, released May 22, sparked a steep global stocks sell-off as investors saw signs in the minutes of the Fed contemplating a withdrawal of its stimulus spending later this year.