H&W in the Media

Fed willingness to consider rate hike squashes stock rally


NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising Wednesday afternoon, led by gains in energy stocks as the price of oil jumped. Apple rose after the tech giant reported another record quarter and robust sales of iPhones.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 94 points, or 0.5 percent, to 17,675 as of 1:47 p.m. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,079. The Nasdaq composite index rose 36 points, or 0.7 percent, to 5,066.

THE BIG PICTURE: Stocks moved steadily higher Wednesday after a sluggish start to the week. The Federal Reserve isn’t expected to raise interest rates at its meeting that concludes later Wednesday, but investors will pore over its policy statement as they try to get more information about the Fed’s view of the U.S. economy and its plans for future interest rate moves.

The 2 p.m. statement should yield more clues about how the Fed feels about the U.S. economy and how it will respond to current conditions. The Fed has said it wants to start raising interest rates this year, and this summit is the second-to-last Fed meeting of 2015. The Fed’s comments will show if the Fed expects to move in December or if it is setting its sights on early 2016 for a possible increase.

Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer of Hennion & Walsh Asset Management, said investors “want to hear a greater level of comfort from the Fed in the U.S. economy.”

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