``The minutes showed the U.S. central bank thought the economy was close to warranting a rate hike but decided it was prudent to wait for evidence a global economic slowdown was not knocking the United States off course. While the initial reaction was muted, stocks gained ground as the session wore on. Strategists said the minutes showed less inclination for a rate hike and no unforeseen worries in the Fed's view of the U.S. economy.''

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