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Wall Street edges higher as Fed decision looms


By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks inched higher on Wednesday, as investors awaited a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve and its guidance on the monetary policy.

were under the spotlight after a court approved AT&T's $85 billion deal to buy

Shares of the channel owner rose 2.6 percent. However, dropped 5.4 percent, sending the telecom services index down 3.75 percent to its biggest single-day fall in nearly four months.

A rate hike of a quarter percentage point is priced in by the market participants, who will parse the statement for clues on whether the Fed will raise rates three or four times this year. The announcement is due at 2:00 p.m. ET.

"The uncertainty is whether or not the Fed talks about some of the political stuff going on in DC and concerns about trade," said Willie Delwiche, strategist at in

"If they were just about what's going on in the economy, then it would be talking about a fourth rate hike, so the market's prepared for that."

According to the CME Group's tool, traders are equally split about a fourth rate hike in December.

A Labor Department report showed U.S. prices increased more than expected in May, leading to the biggest annual increase in nearly 6-1/2 years, but underlying inflation remained moderate.

At 11:46 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 13.91 points, or 0.05 percent, at 25,334.64, the 500 was up 3.76 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,790.61 and the Composite was up 43.45 points, or 0.56 percent, at 7,747.24.

Other that got lift from the ruling include Twenty-First Century Fox, which surged 7.5 percent as is expected to outbid for some of its assets.

jumped 4.3 percent after the said it was not in talks to buy rival Boston Scientific, days after a media report on a potential deal between the two companies.

rose 2.5 percent after forecast that 2018 would be the peak negative-free cash flow year for the company.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.24-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.35-to-1 ratio on the

The index recorded 40 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the recorded 138 new highs and 18 new lows.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 21:26 IST