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US: Strong Apple earnings lift US stocks at open

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[NEW YORK] Strong Apple earnings boosted Wall Street stocks early Wednesday ahead of an afternoon monetary policy announcement by the US Federal Reserve.

Apple surged five per cent after reporting record revenues of US$78.4 billion in the first quarter due to its highest-ever volume of iPhone sales at 78.3 million.

The strong Apple results lifted sentiment after worries about President Donald Trump's controversial executive order on immigration weighed on the market for two days.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 19,962.34, up 0.5 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.4 per cent to 2,288.23, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8 per cent to 5,659.32.

Analysts were looking ahead to the central bank's statement following a two-day meeting of the policy committee. Although the Fed is not expected to hike interest rates, it could signal more precisely the timeframe for future increases.

Private payrolls firm ADP reported that US private-sector hiring rose 246,000 in January, far more than analysts expected. The US Labor Department is due to release its more closely-scrutinized employment report on Friday.

Arconic, formerly part of Alcoa before the company was split off from the aluminum giant, rose three per cent after activist fund Elliott Management called for the ousting of chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld and nominated five directors.


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