US stocks mixed as investors react to Fed minutes

Stocks fell as investors learned the Fed is willing to start raising short-term interest rates sooner than expected. The market was mixed but turned lower after 2 p.m., when the Fed released minutes from its January meeting, at which some policy makers ‘raised the possibility that it might be appropriate to increase the federal funds rate relatively soon’ — an unwelcome surprise for many. The Fed has kept the rate near zero since 2008 to aid the economy by keeping borrowing costs low. The Fed’s new chair has said rates won’t rise until 2015, at the earliest. Energy was one of the few sectors to close higher, as natural gas prices rose.