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Stocks higher as Fed kicks off two-day meeting

By Joshua Freed
Associated Press

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NEW YORK: Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors shrugged off worries about what the Federal Reserve is up to.

Many expect the Fed to announce today that it will reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program. Wall Street is hoping for a small reduction because the bond-buying has kept interest rates low and made it cheaper to borrow money.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed higher by 34.95 points, or 0.2 percent, at 15,529.73.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 7.16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,704.76. The S&P 500 was five points below its record high reached on Aug. 2. It has risen for three trading days in a row, and 10 of the last 11.

The Nasdaq composite was up 27.85 points, or 0.8 percent, at 3,745.70; it had the biggest percentage gain of the three big indexes.

The Labor Department reported that consumer prices barely rose last month, another sign that slow economic growth is keeping inflation low. That pushed the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down slightly, to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent late Monday.

Rising profits “support stock prices where they are, and could support, going into 2014, prices going a little higher,” said Jim Dunigan, managing executive of investments for PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia. “Most, if not all, the evidence would suggest the economy is improving.”


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