Stocks Rise Slightly Ahead of Fed Decision



Stocks rose slightly Wednesday as investors awaited a congressional hearing on antitrust in Big Tech as well as the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision.

The Dow Jones Industrials gained 68.15 points to begin Wednesday at 26,447.43.

The S&P 500 regained 21.4 points to 3,239.84.

The NASDAQ recovered 99.03 points, or 1%, to 10,501.12.

The Fed will conclude its two-day policy meeting Wednesday and is set to release a statement at 2 p.m. ET. Chairman Jerome Powell will have a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The central bank is expected to keep short-term interest rates unchanged at near zero to support the economy still struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, the Fed announced it would extend its emergency lending programs through the remainder of 2020.

Meanwhile, the chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet will testify before the House Antitrust Subcommittee later Wednesday following a yearlong probe into their anti-competitive practices. Investors will look for insights on how the Big Tech is handling antitrust challenges from regulators with the authority to break them up.

Shares of Big Tech are among the best performers this year. Facebook and Alphabet are both up more than 12% year to date entering Wednesday’s session. Amazon has skyrocketed 62.4% over that time and Apple is up 27%.

The busiest week of the earnings season continued, with General Electric and Boeing releasing their latest quarterly figures. GE reported stronger-than-forecast revenue, sending the stock up 0.4%. Boeing posted a wider-than-expected loss.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices popped more than 10% after the chipmaker posted on Tuesday better-than-expected quarterly earnings and issued an upbeat guidance for the year.

Starbucks swung to a loss during its fiscal third quarter, but the world’s largest coffee chain raised its forecast for the current quarter, sending shares up more than 3%.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, leaving yields at Tuesday’s 0.58%.

Oil prices recaptured 32 cents to $41.36 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices added $3.30 to $1,947.90 U.S. an ounce.