So far in 2013, days where the Fed has released the minutes from a prior meeting have not exactly been positive for the market. The charts below show the intraday trading of the S&P 500 on each of the days where the FOMC released the minutes from a meeting. In each chart, the red dot indicates the time when the Minutes were released (2PM).
On January 3rd, the S&P 500 erased a modest gain for the day and declined 0.38% in the last two hours of trading day. On February 2nd, the S&P 500 was already down for the day, but it fell an additional 0.72% in the last two hours of trading. Then, on April 10th, the S&P 500 was up more than 1% when the minutes were released, and while the S&P 500 didn't decline, the rally was stopped dead in its tracks. Finally, the last release of the Fed minutes on 5/22 was a doozy. After hitting a bull market high during Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's prepared Congressional remarks, the S&P 500 sold off on investor fears of a taper to the latest round of QE. Then at 2PM, the market tried to rebound ahead of the release. That bounce was short-lived, though, and the S&P 500 continued to sell off with an additional decline of 0.82% from 2PM through the close.
Will today's release of the Minutes provide another excuse for a Fed Minutes Freakout? We shall see. Today's release of the Fed minutes is the first time this year that the S&P 500 is not higher than it was on the date of the release of the prior Fed Minutes.