Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened higher open on Wednesday, as markets awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve''s most recent policy meeting, due later in the trading session.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow 30 advanced 0.68%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.53%, while the NASDAQ Composite gained 0.46%.
Markets eyed the minutes from the Fed’s latest monetary policy meeting due later on Wednesday, as investors awaited further indications on the central bank''s view of the economy.
On Tuesday, New York Fed President William Dudley reiterated the central bank’s dovish stance, saying the pace of rate hikes was likely to be “slow”.
In the tech sector, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) rose 0.28% after saying it is currently working with China’s government to evaluate its Windows 8 operating system after the software was excluded from a government purchasing order.
In addition, Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a larger and lighter version of its Surface Pro tablet, in a move to counter the popularity of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)''s iPad and MacBook Air laptop.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) added to gains, up 0.34%, as Alstom (PARIS:ALSO) Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kron called on the French government to back the U.S. group''s $17 billion offer to buy the company''s energy units, saying uncertainty about Alstom''s future is making it difficult to win orders.
Among Internet-related stocks, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) jumped 0.90% after the company said it is preparing to launch its online movie and TV subscription service later this year in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) saw shares climb 0.71% amid reports it is in early discussions to acquire startup RayV Inc., with hopes of expanding its array of Internet-video services.
Elsewhere, Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) posted quarterly profit that exceeded expectations, sending the jeweler''s shares soaring 9.52%.
Target (NYSE:TGT) also gained ground, up 1.01%, after the discount retailer reported a smaller than expected decline in U.S. same-store sales.
Lowe''s Companies (NYSE:LOW) tumbled 1.45% on the other hand, even as the home improvement retailer said sales increased this month and that it would maintain its full-year sales growth outlook.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed to higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.67%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.32%, Germany''s DAX climbed 0.57%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 added 0.11%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng inched up 0.01%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.24%.