US STOCKS-Wall St edges higher as Fed decision looms

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks inched higher on Wednesday, as investors awaited a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and its guidance on the monetary policy.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Media stocks were under the spotlight after a court approved AT&T’s (T.N) $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner (TWX.N).

Shares of the HBO channel owner rose 2.6 percent. However, AT&T dropped 5.4 percent, sending the S&P telecom services index .SPLRCL down 3.75 percent to its biggest single-day fall in nearly four months.

A rate hike of a quarter percentage point is priced in by the market participants, who will parse the statement for clues on whether the Fed will raise rates three or four times this year. The announcement is due at 2:00 p.m. ET.

“The uncertainty is whether or not the Fed talks about some of the political stuff going on in DC and concerns about trade,” said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“If they were just about what’s going on in the economy, then it would be talking about a fourth rate hike, so the market’s prepared for that.”

According to the CME Group’s Fedwatch tool, traders are equally split about a fourth rate hike in December.

A Labor Department report showed U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in May, leading to the biggest annual increase in nearly 6-1/2 years, but underlying producer inflation remained moderate.

At 11:46 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 13.91 points, or 0.05 percent, at 25,334.64, the S&P 500 .SPX was up

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