Stock market ends higher ahead of Fed decision as tech, consumer-discretionary stocks lead gain
U..S. stocks mostly ended higher Tuesday, though the Dow lagged behind its peers, as shares of technology and consumer-discretionary stocks supported a modest rise in the broad-market benchmark. However, trading action was largely subdued ahead of a key policy decision expected by the Federal Reserve Wednesday afternoon, which could determine the near-term outlook for stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session little changed at 25,321, less than 0.1% lower but enough to halt a four-session rally for the blue-chip gauge. The S&P 500 index , meanwhile, rose by 0.2% at 2,787, buoyed by a 0.6% gain in the technology sector , like social-network company Twitter Inc. and a 0.5% rally in consumer-discretionary names, including shares of Dollar Tree Inc. , up 3.1% and Newell Brands Inc. up 2.9%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6% at 7,704. Trading action on Tuesday followed a historic and closely watched meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, which yielded a pact on the denuclearization of the Hermit Kingdom but which was criticized for a lack of specificity. Focus on that meeting gave way to concerns about the outcome of coming central bank meetings including the Fed which concludes on Wednesday and is slated to result in a quarter-point rate hike, leaving benchmark rates at a range of 1.75% and 2%. The European Central Bank’s gathering is set for Thursday.