US stock indices advance as market awaits Fed decision

The Dow and S&P 500 made moderate gains today, but both were outperformed by the NASDAQ.

September continues to be a strong month for the US stock market, with stocks advancing on Wall Street for the third day in a row. There can be little doubt that the attention of investors is aimed at tomorrow’s outcome from the Fed meeting which began today, but the price action of the leading US stock indices suggests the market is taking the prospect of some tapering in the Fed’s stimulus in its stride.

With just over half an hour to the close in New York, the Dow had climbed 0.23% to 15,530 and the S&P rose 0.42% to 1704.8. The NASDAQ 100 performed the best out of the three leading benchmarks, adding 0.8%.

A number of high-profile technology stocks made substantial advances. Microsoft gained 0.56% after announcing a $40 billion buyback and hiking its dividend payments by 22%. Intel rose 1.7% after Credit Suisse upped its target price for the chipmaker from $28 per share to $30. Apple’s share price continues to whipsaw, climbing more than 1% today after a big decline yesterday.

Adobe Systems reports after the US stock market closes, with earnings of 21 cents per share expected.<P>Following on from today’s housing market index, we have more housing data tomorrow with housing starts for August. The big news is out at 7pm (London time) on Wednesday, when the Fed announces its latest policy decision, followed by a press conference with Ben Bernanke half an hour later.

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