US stocks open slightly higher as Fed meeting begins

New York, Sep 16 (IANS) US stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, as the Wall Street was eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s key policy meeting.

Investors were keeping a close eye on the Fed’s two-day policy meeting beginning Wednesday, as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) could raise interest rates for the first time in nine years. All eyes are on Thursday afternoon’s expected statement and press conference.

Uncertainty about the Fed’s decision whether or not to hike rates has been contributing to recent volatility in the market.

Some analysts believed that the US central bank will not decide to raise interest rates at the meeting as recent economic reports came out generally negative.

On the economic front, the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers decreased 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, missing market consensus, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday.

The index for all items, less food and energy, increased 0.1 percent in August, the same increase as in July.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.00 points (0.02 percent), to 16,602.85. The S&P 500 added 0.83 point (0.04 percent), to 1,978.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.04 point (less than 0.01 percent), to 4,860.56.

On Tuesday, US stocks posted solid gains as some investors expected that a batch of soft economic reports could give the Fed an excuse to postpone rate rise.

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