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US: Tech shares bounce, leading US stocks higher

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[NEW YORK] Technology stocks rallied from their short-lived slump early Tuesday, leading US stocks higher ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve decision.

After two days of sharp declines, large tech companies including Amazon, Facebook and Netflix had rebounded by one per cent or more.

There was no particularly catalyst to the sharp declines in these shares Friday and Monday, but the pullback raised worries about the possibility of a correction in the broader market.

The two-day Fed policy meeting was set to open later Tuesday with the US central bank expected to raise interest rates at the conclusion on Wednesday.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen's quarterly press conference will be scrutinized for signs of whether further tightening is likely this year - something increasingly in doubt - and for details on the plan to reduce the size of the central banks securities holdings.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 per cent at 21,276.96.

The broad-based S&P 500 also added 0.2 per cent to 2,435.13, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.5 per cent to 6,208.28.

Large banks were higher after the Trump administration released a report calling for an easing of "stress tests" and other regulations imposed in the wake of the global financial crisis. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley all won at least one per cent.

Dow member Merck fell 1.4 per cent as it paused two clinical studies of a treatment for multiple myeloma to study reports of death of people in the trials.