US stocks mostly up as Fed debate intensifies

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished mostly higher Wednesday as US Federal Reserve minutes showed rising debate over recent improvements in the jobs market.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 16,979.51, up 59.92 points (0.35 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 4.92 (0.25 per cent) to 1,986.52, narrowly missing a record. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.03 (0.02 per cent) to 4,526.48.

Minutes from the July 29-30 Fed meeting showed an intensifying debate on how much the labour market has tightened and how that would impact inflation and the timing of the Fed's plan to raise benchmark interest rates.