US Stocks Trade Higher, Fed Meeting Eyed


US Stocks Trade Higher, Fed Meeting Eyed

US stocks traded moderately higher as investors awaited news on talks between Greece and its international creditors, and the outcome of the two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped three straight sessions of losses to edge up 125.55 points or 0.7% higher at 17.896.6 points.

The S&P 500 Index also added 12.60 points or 0.60% to trade at 2095.19 points with nine of its ten main indexes trading higher on the day led by Consumer and staples with a 1% jump.

The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite index jumped 31 points or 0.61% at 5051 points.

“Markets hate uncertainty and at this point they would like clarity about the impending interest-rate hikes and some kind of resolution to Greece’s debt crisis,” Michael Antonelli, equity sales trader at R.W Baird & Co., told Market Watch.

“While any initial interest-rate hike will hit markets in the near term, ultimately it would be good for the market to move past that and find its direction,” he added.

Although the Fed is unlikely to announce the commencement of its rate hike during this meeting, most investors expect the Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen to give the clearest indication yet on the timing of the start of the rate hike.

Yellen had announced earlier this month that the Central bank remains data dependent awaiting clear indications of economic stability and growth in the country before effecting the hike.

Data from the second quarter of 2015 so far, however, points towards a strengthening in the economy after a halt in expansion during the first quarter.

“We continue to see some meaningful activity where M&A is concerned,” Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told Reuters.

“A September hike has been priced in by the market but investors are more keen on seeing the pace of the hike.”

Trading volume remained lower than the average this year with most investors trimming their equity exposure until after the end of the policy meeting.

To contact the reporter of the story: Samuel Rae at