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Stocks open little changed ahead of Fed minutes; energy stocks recover as oil prices rise
NEW YORK (AP) ¯¯¯ Chevron and other energy companies are moving higher in early trading Wednesday as oil prices bounce back.
Oil crept back above $85 a barrel following a report that U.S. crude supplies fell for a second week straight, a sign that demand for energy may be improving.
The Dow Jones industrial average was off seven points at 12,644 after the first half-hour of trading. Chevron and Exxon Mobil gained more than 1 percent. Chevron gained $1.27 to $105.15. Exxon Mobil gained 87 cents to $83.94.
Broad stock market indexes were drifting between small gains and losses as investors wait for minutes later Wednesday from the June meeting of the Federal Reserve.
After that meeting, the Fed announced that it would extend a Treasury-buying program through the end of this year. That program is an attempt to stimulate spending by keeping borrowing costs low and pushing investors out of bonds and into other investments. The Fed also said it's ready to take more steps to push the recovery forward if the job market gets worse.
The Fed releases minutes from its latest meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern.
In other trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 rose two points to 1,343 and the Nasdaq lost two points to 2,900.
In Europe, Spain's borrowing costs fell after the country imposed new sales tax hikes and spending cuts in a bid to slash nearly $80 billion from its budget over the next two and a half years. Spain is being squeezed by high borrowing rates and 25 percent unemployment.
HHGregg plunged 35 percent. The appliance and electronics retailer said after the market closed Tuesday that weak sales will cause its quarterly loss to widen. The company also cut its full-year earnings outlook. Analysts at SunTrust and Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the company's shares. The company's stock lost $4 to $7.42.