US stocks end mixed as Fed meeting begins

US stocks end mixed as Fed meeting begins

New York: US stocks closed mixed with both the Dow and the S&P 500 refreshing closing records, as the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday rose 118.77 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 24,504.80. The S&P 500 added 4.12 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,664.11, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 12.76 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6,862.32.

Investors watched closely on the Fed’s meeting, with an updated policy statement set to be released after the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday. Following the release, Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold her last news conference as the central bank chief.

The Fed is widely expected to deliver its third interest-rate hike for 2017 but investors want to see what the policy-making body signals about 2018.

“We all know the Fed is going to raise rates tomorrow. If they don’t it would be a shock. The interesting question is whether they reveal anything about future policy steps,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

“The biggest opportunity for surprise is the number of rate hikes predicted in 2018. The market has priced in two, one in March and one in September,” he added.

On the economic front, the Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.4 per cent in November, seasonally adjusted, beating market consensus of a 0.3-per cent gain, the US Labor Department reported on Tuesday.

In corporate news, shares of Boeing jumped 2.39 per cent to $289.94 apiece on Tuesday after the aerospace giant raised its dividend and approved an $18-billion buyback late on Monday.