(Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New York, Feb 20 : US stocks ended higher on Wednesday as market participants digested the Federal Reserve's January meeting minutes and the latest slew of economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 115.84 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 29,348.03. The S&P 500 was up 15.86 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 3,386.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 84.44 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 9,817.18, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with both energy and technology up more than 1 per cent, leading the gainers. Real estate declined 1.36 per cent, the worst-performing group.

Apple shares closed up 1.45 per cent, contributing to the market gains. The stock struggled in the previous session after the company issued a warning over its quarterly revenue.

The US central bank released the minutes from its January meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Participants generally judged that the current stance of monetary policy was appropriate to support sustained expansion of economic activity, showed the minutes.

On the data front, US producer price index (PPI) rose 0.5 per cent in January, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday.

US housing starts dropped 3.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.567 million units last month, the Commerce Department said.

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