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US stocks rise ahead of big Fed meeting

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City
Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City.

US stocks Tuesday moved higher as Federal Reserve policymakers headed into a meeting to weigh whether to begin reducing their huge stimulus program.

About 40 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 50.73 (0.33 percent) at 15,545.51.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.46 (0.32 percent) to 1,703.06, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 13.20 (0.35 percent) to 3,731.04.

Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com said markets would be in a wait-and-see mode until the Fed releases its policy statement at the end of the two-day meeting.

The Federal Open Market Committee could trim back the Fed's $85 billion per-month bond-buying program.

US consumer prices rose a bare 0.1 percent in August. Price gains at the consumer level stood at 1.5 percent year-on-year, well below the levels the Fed has pointed to as thresholds for tightening monetary policy.

Dow component Microsoft gained 0.7 percent after raising its dividend by 22 percent and announcing a new $40 billion share buyback program to replace a program that expires at the end of September.

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase edged 0.2 percent higher following reports it is near a settlement to pay some $800 million related to the giant London whale trading loss.

The Mosaic Company, a fertilizer producer, dipped 1.2 percent after trimming its price and output guidance due to low demand.

Internet radio company Pandora fell 1.8 percent after announcing a public offering of 10 million additional shares. The funds raised will go to general corporate purposes and potential acquisitions.

Huntsman Corp., which sells chemical products, increased 4.2 percent after announcing a $1.1 billion purchase of a performance additives and titanium dioxide business from Rockwood Holdings.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 2.85 percent from 2.87 percent, while the 30-year slipped to 3.86 percent from 3.87 percent. Prices and yields move inversely.

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