The stock market gave investors a small reminder of its capacity for volatility on Wednesday, giving up early gains and closing modestly lower. The move was tiny considering the extent to which the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^SPX) and Nasdaq Composite have risen to record highs recently. Yet it still left investors with some nagging doubts about what the future might bring, and the abruptness of the move in the last couple hours of trading threw market participants a bit off kilter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) wasn't able to avoid losses either.

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

The Federal Reserve was the subject of most investors' attention on Wednesday afternoon, as the central bank released the minutes of its most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. At that meeting, the topics for discussion revealed at least some reluctance among central bank officials to do everything possible to prop up the U.S. economy. That gave some market participants pause, throwing several different financial markets into mild disarray.

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