Stocks finished mixed, and traders apparently were unimpressed by some good economic data on factory orders and auto sales, while commodities dropped on likely profit-taking.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 20.43 points, or 0.18 percent, to 11,691.18. The S&P 500 index shed 1.69 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,270.20 The Nasdaq composite slipped 10.27 points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,681.25.
The minutes from the last FOMC meeting indicated that the central bank remains committed to low interest rates for the foreseeable future due to the relative weakness of the U.S. economic recovery.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) rose 2.27 percent after it reported a 6.3 percent increase in sales of cars and trucks last year. Similarly, Ford Motor Corp.(NYSE: F) edged up 0.75 percent after reporting that sales rose 15 percent in 2010.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) jumped 4 percent on an upgrade by Deutsche Bank.
Bonds slipped as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 3.35 percent.
Oil futures plunged almost 2.5 percent to close well below $90 per barrel; gold sank more than 3 percent to about $1380 per ounce.