US stocks rise ahead of Fed decision

US stocks rise ahead of Fed decision

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 26, 2022 in New York City. — AFP pic

Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 11:45 PM MYT

NEW YORK, Sept 21 — Wall Street stocks climbed early today ahead of a key Federal Reserve decision that will be scrutinized for nuances in the central bank’s inflation-fighting posture.

Most economists are expecting a third straight three-quarter point rate hike when the meeting concludes Wednesday. But there is a chance the Fed could opt for a full point increase.

Besides the decision itself, investors are looking for Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s “outlook for the upcoming period as well as the tone of his commentary,” said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services

Powell has committed to a tough line on inflation, today since a major address in Wyoming in August. Any softening in that tone could boost stocks Wednesday, analysts said.

“People want to know how aggressive the Fed will be, and for how long,” Volokhine said.

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5 per cent at 30,870.99.

The broad-based S&P 500 also advanced 0.5 per cent to 3,876.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3 per cent to 11,458.81.

Among individual companies, General Mills jumped 5.6 per cent after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profits. — AFP