Stock markets remained mixed ahead of the minutes release as investors were concerned over the prospects of higher interest rates and corporate profitability while being strengthened by a better than expected leading indicators report. As a result, the benchmark Dow Jones industrial average was lower by 34.58 points at 11,080.74 with the broader S&P 500 index slipping 2.2 points to 1,285.03. Notably weighing on the downside for the session was an announcement by Wal-Mart stores. The company’s shares slipped 11 cents to $45.99 after it reported fourth quarter revenue that fell short of analysts’ estimates. However, it did note that earnings rose 13.4 percent on increased advertising estimates.
Benchmark bonds were slightly lower ahead of the release as markets remained closed yesterday in observance of the Presidents’ holiday. The 10-year note yield rose 1 basis point to 4.55 percent while the face value dipped to 99 19/32.