By Sruthi Shankar
June 13 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were flat on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement, while media shares got a boost from a court approval for AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.
Shares of the HBO channel owner jumped 3.6 percent after the approval, which is expected to trigger a wave of corporate mergers. AT&T dropped 3.8 percent and weighed the most on the S&P telecoms index, which fell 2.6 percent.
Twenty-First Century Fox surged 7.8 percent as Comcast Corp is expected to outbid Disney for some of its assets.
“(The ruling) sounds like it opened the door for consolidation, which should excite investors in that space,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago.
At 9:55 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 3.68 points, or 0.01 percent, at 25,324.41, the S&P 500 was up 0.75 points, or 0.03 percent, at 2,787.60 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 12.94 points, or 0.17 percent, at 7,716.74.
Investors are awaiting the Fed’s decision on monetary policy at 2:00 p.m. ET. With the year’s second interest rate hike almost certain, market participants will look for signals on whether the Fed will move to raise rates three or four times this year.
“Market pricing is fairly split between three and four hikes this year, so it probably doesn’t require a hawkish signal to correct a mispricing,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid wrote in a note to clients.
Investors are focused on how the Fed characterizes its monetary policy as borrowing costs return to more normal levels amid an ongoing economic expansion. Fed Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference