Wall Street edges up as U.S. Fed meeting is in focus
U.S. stocks were slightly higher on Tuesday, helped by gains in financial, technology and telecom stocks, but indexes traded in a narrow range as investors stayed away from making major bets ahead of the Federal Reserve`s policy meeting.
The U.S. central bank, which begins its two-day meeting on Tuesday, is widely expected to announce on Wednesday that it will begin paring its bond holdings, with reductions likely to start in the coming months.
While a September interest rate increase is not expected, investors will closely watch Fed Chair Janet Yellen`s views on inflation, as they look for clues on whether or not the Fed will raise rates in December.
"There`s one school of thought that rates will go up because there`s some inflation coming from a very tight labour market and storms that will create very tight demand," said Rick Meckler president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey, regarding Tuesday`s boost to bank stocks, which benefit from higher rates.
Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the financial sector`s 1-percent gain providing the biggest boost and the biggest percentage gain was the telecom services sector`s <.splrcl> roughly 2 percent jump due to mergers and acquisitions speculation. Technology <.splrct> rose 0.5 percent.
"In a market that gets fairly fully priced, you tend to get more sector rotation," Meckler said.
At 2:59 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.dji> rose 41.46 points, or 0.19 percent, to 22,372.81, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 2.52 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,506.39 and the Nasdaq Composite <.ixic> added 4.49 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,459.13.
"People are in wait-and-see mode. The expectations are that rates will remain unchanged and they (the Fed) will start balance sheet unwinding. But there`s always a possibility of surprise. I think that`s why investors are cautious," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The biggest U.S. telephone operators, Verizon
The healthcare index <.spxhc> was one of the biggest laggards amid declines in insurers such as United Health
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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