Stock market attempts to climb ahead of expected Fed rate hike

U.S. stock-market indexes were tentatively higher on Wednesday as investors awaited a decision from the Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to increase rates by a quarter of a percentage point and offer details on path forward for monetary policy.

What did are markets doing?

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.13% rose 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,791, with six of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Telecoms shares were among the worst hit, with the sector down more than 3% after Tuesday’s court ruling that AT&T can go ahead with its nearly $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.52% added 42 points, or 0.5%, to 7,746 and set an intraday record at 7,747.16.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07% edged 22 points, or 0.1%, to 25,340.

Wednesday’s muted moves follow a pattern of small gains amid low volatility. The Cboe Volatility Index VIX, -1.78% is trading at about 12, near its lowest levels of the year.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks RUT, +0.13% which closed at an all-time high, was up fractionally.

Read: Fund managers are overweight U.S. stocks for first time in 15 months

What’s driving the market?

While investors continue to monitor any potential fallout from the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attention moved squarely toward the conclusion of the Fed’s two-day meeting on Wednesday.

A statement from the central bank is due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, followed by a press conference with Chairman Jerome Powell at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Investors have priced in expectations that the Fed will lift the federal-funds rate to a range between 1.75% to 2%, from 1.5% to 1.75%, marking the second rate hike this year and the seventh move since the start of the tightening cycle in

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