NEW YORK — The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in the technology and utilities sectors, and shares of media and telecom companies jumped in extended trade after AT&T won court approval to buy Time Warner.
Time Warner shares rose 4.4 percent in after-hours trading, while AT&T shares fell 2.8 percent. The planned deal, which was approved without conditions, could open the door to other potential industry deals.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc jumped 7.2 percent in extended trade after the ruling on expectations that Comcast Corp and Walt Disney Co could start a bidding war to acquire its media assets. Comcast shares shed 3.4 percent and Walt Disney dropped 1.9 percent.
Shares of other media and telecom companies rose in after-hours trading. Sprint gained 2.8 percent; CBS rose 4.6 percent; Discovery rose 4.1 percent; and Viacom gained 4.3 percent.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 0.2 percent in trading for the overnight session, while Nasdaq e-minis were up 0.3 percent.
During the regular session, the S&P 500 utilities index rose 1.3 percent and technology climbed 0.6 percent, helping to push the S&P 500 up slightly.
Gains were limited during the regular session by investor caution ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision. The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates for the second time this year when it concludes its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.
Investors are focused on how the Fed characterizes its monetary policy, looking for hints on whether it would move to raise rates three or four times this year.
“People are unsure what the Fed is going to say,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.
“I don’t think they’re going to say anything particularly related to a rate hike in December,” he said. “If they say