The Federal Reserve was back in the limelight Wednesday but there was little new news.
The minutes from the Fed's June meeting showed many of the 12 Fed voting officials said they need to see further improvement in the job market before they'd be willing to gradually start winding down the stimulus program.
U.S. stocks initially bounced but returned to the breakeven line soon after as investors realized the comments were closely in line with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement last month.
What's moving: Corporate earnings, which started coming in this week, are also in focus. U.S. stocks have been moving higher over the past few trading sessions on underlying optimism about second-quarter earnings results. That's put the major stock indexes back in sight of all-time highs set in late May.
Family Dollar(FDO) shares climbed sharply Wednesday after reporting a better-than-expected profit and a 10% jump in sales. More company results are due Wednesday, with restaurant operator Yum! Brands(YUM) set to report after the close.
Family Dollar: Consumers still frugal
Overall, quarterly earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are expected to grow 0.8% versus last year, according to FactSet.
Meanwhile, shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF)were higher after the mining company announced that Joseph Carrabba is stepping down as chairman and will retire from his CEO post at the end of the year.
Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) stock jumped following an upgrade from Citigroup.