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Stocks rise for third day straight

Trader Steven Kaplan works on the floor of

Trader Steven Kaplan works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

The stock market rose for a third straight day Wednesday despite a report from the Federal Reserve that showed a growing chorus of central bank officials willing to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

In the bond market, prices fell and yields rose as investors prepared themselves for higher interest rates.

At the close Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 59.4 points, or nearly 0.4 percent, at 16,979.1. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up about 5 points, or about 0.3 percent, at 1,986.5, and the Nasdaq composite had lost 1 point, or 0.02 percent, to 4,526.5.

The S&P's gain put it less than two points away from its late-July record close of 1,987.98.

According to minutes from the Open Market Committee's most recent meeting, the majority of Fed policymakers believe the U.S. economy is improving enough that the bank should start considering how it's going to start raising interest rates.

Release of the Fed minutes prompted some investors to sell bonds. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.43 percent from 2.40 percent the day before. Bond yields rise when prices fall.

On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will give a speech at the bank's annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The speech is often a venue where the leader of the Fed lays out major policy decisions. "Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole will most likely guide the markets [now that] earnings season is winding down," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist with Voya Investment Management.

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