U.S. stocks jump ahead of critical Fed meeting

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, a day ahead of the start of a crucial Federal Reserve policy meeting. Fed policymakers will convene a two-day meeting on Wednesday and could decide to raise interest rates for the first time in close to a decade. The gains were led by industrial stocks.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 224 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,597 as of 2:19 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard Poor’s 500 index climbed 25 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,978. The Nasdaq composite advanced 53 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,859.

VOLATILE MARKETS: The stock market has recovered some of the ground that it lost in August and early September, but is still down from its peak of the year as traders and investors fret about the possible impact of slower growth in China and other emerging markets. The SP 500 is down 7.2 percent from its record close set in May.

FEDERAL RESERVE: Investors are looking ahead to the Federal Open Market Committee meeting this week. Some economists are still predicting that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, but many believe that policy makers will keep rates close to zero at the end of its two-day meeting on Thursday. While the U.S. jobs market has remained strong, the prospects for global growth have diminished and financial markets have been turbulent.

THE QUOTE: “There has been a lot of bearishness in markets lately. China and emerging markets have been the big worry,” said Neil Massa, a senior equity trader at John Hancock Asset Management. “So the question is: Can the Fed ignore what’s happening in the rest of the world?”

Massa said that the odds of a Fed rate increase had slipped substantially since the start of the summer. He also said that trading volumes were lighter than usual on Tuesday because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

RETAIL SALES: Americans stepped up their spending on cars, restaurant meals, groceries and clothing in August. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month, after advancing 0.7 percent in July. The increase was slightly less than economists had forecast.

ENERGY: U.S. crude gained 83 cents to $44.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 63 cents to close at $44.00 a barrel on Monday.

EUROPE’S DAY: Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent and France’s CAC-40 rose 1.1 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.23 percent. The dollar rose to 120.41 yen from 120.30 yen late Monday. The euro dropped to $1.1264 from $1.1309.

METALS: Gold fell $5.10 to $1,102.60 an ounce. Silver fell 4 cents to $14.33 an ounce and copper gained 2 cents to $2.43 a pound.



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