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U.S. stocks drift lower after release of Fed minutes

The Wall Street entrance of the New York

The Wall Street entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. World stock markets were lackluster Wednesday Nov. 19, 2014 as investors digested a fall in Chinese home prices and Japan's scramble to overcome its economic malaise. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Stocks closed lower for the first time this week as the market edged below the record high it set the day before.

Investors found little new to trade on in the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting, released Wednesday afternoon.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,048.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped two points, less than 0.1 percent, to 17,685. The Nasdaq composite shed 26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,675.

The S&P 500 and Dow closed at record highs the day before.

Cliffs Natural Resources sank 20 percent on news that the mining company is pursuing exit options for its Eastern Canadian iron ore operations.

The price of oil fell three cents to $74.58 a barrel in New York.

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