Stocks open slightly higher as Fed decision looms

U.S. stocks kicked off trade tentatively higher on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy statement later in the session, with officials set to lift benchmark interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point and market’s hoping for clarity on the central bank’s plan for monetary policy in coming months and years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07% rose less than 0.1% at 25,326, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.13% climbed less than 0.1% at 2,788, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.53% rose at 0.1% at 7,713. Concerns about monetary stimulus ebbing have joined worries about politics and trade spats emanating from President Donald Trump’s administration. Futures markets point to a 94% chance that the Fed will increase its benchmark rate by 0.25 percentage point to a 1.75%-2% range, marking the second rise this year and the seventh since the start of monetary policy normalization in December of 2015. In corporate news, shares of AT&T Inc. T, -4.32% and Time Warner Inc. TWX, +3.20% were in focus after a federal judge approved a merger of the media and telecommunications companies.

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