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US: Stocks open higher ahead of Fed meeting

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks opened higher Tuesday as the Dow advanced to within striking distance of 20,000 points shortly before the start of a two-day Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen to 19,879.59, up 0.4 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 also gained 0.4 per cent to 2,266.11, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.5 per cent to 5,437.42.

US stocks have repeatedly pushed to new records since US election day in anticipation of pro-growth policies following the Republican sweep.

Analysts expect the Fed on Wednesday to hike interest rates for just the second time in a decade.

The market will be scrutinising the Fed's commentary for clues about the planned pace of rate hikes in 2017 after a lengthy stretch of unusually low interest rates.


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