The minutes covered the Fed's January 29-30 meeting where the central bank left its key policy rate unchanged and signaled a major pivot away from steadily raising rates.
Fed officials also appeared close to agreeing on a plan to stop reducing their enormous bond portfolio before year's end - a step meant to help ease upward pressure on borrowing rates.
Experts think that it is likely for the Fed to hike interest rates twice this year, instead of the three or four hikes previously projected.
Policymakers also promised "before too long" a plan for their $4-trillion balance sheet, the minutes showed.
Chairman Jerome Powell underscored the message in his January 30 press conference by saying the Fed would be patient in deciding when and how to adjust policy in the face of a mounting set of risks, including slowing growth in China and Europe, Brexit, trade negotiations and the effects of the five-week USA government shutdown.
US stocks fluctuated after the minutes were released but settled slightly higher, with the S&P 500 Index advancing 0.2 percent.
"Many participants suggested that it was not yet clear what adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate later this year", according to the official record of the Fed's most recent policy meeting, released on Wednesday.
But the S&P materials index, up 1.7 per cent, led percentage gains among the major 11 S&P sectors, boosted by gains in commodity prices. Shares of CF Industries Holdings Inc, Mosaic Co and FreeportMcMoran rose.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 63.12 points, or 0.24 percent, to 25,954.44.
"A variety of factors-including FOMC communications, weaker-than-expected data, trade policy uncertainties, the partial federal government shutdown, and concerns about the outlook for corporate earnings-were cited by market participants as contributing to a deterioration in risk sentiment early in the period", the minutes said. President Trump said on Tuesday that talks with China were going well and suggested he was open to pushing off the deadline to complete negotiations, saying March 1 was not a "magical" date.
Southwest Airlines Co slipped 5.7 per cent after the carrier said it would take a $60-million hit from the partial United States government shutdown.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.93-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.43-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 38 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 99 new highs and 17 new lows.