Stocks Cling to Positive Bias

However, volume is extremely thin ahead of the end of the FOMC meeting.
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Despite its

FOMC

jitters, the market kept up its firm tone through midmorning trading.

Volume, however, was incredibly light. Though they probably won't get a chance to do a thing from 2:15 p.m. EDT, when the Fed meeting ends, to the close, traders had plenty of time to get up and stretch their legs.

"We're seeing some strength in tech issues and some weakness in oil services," said Jim Herrick, managing director of trading at

Robert W. Baird

. "But other than that, everybody is just waiting for what comes out of the Fed meeting."

And even that strength in tech, and that weakness in oil services, was pretty muted. The

Morgan Stanley High Tech 35

was up only 7 to 1052. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Services Index

was down only 1 to 71.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 73 to 10,926.

Hewlett-Packard

, up 6, or 7%, to 94 3/4, accounted for 41 of those Dow points. The

S&P 500

was up 4 to 1344 and the

Nasdaq Composite

was down fractionally at 2562.

TheStreet.com Internet Index

was down 6 to 635, and the

Russell 2000

was up 2 to 444.

9:54 a.m.: FOMC Meeting Puts Damper on Stock Trading

Major market indices were a touch higher as the market awaits the results of today's

Federal Open Market Committee

meeting.

While the vast majority of analysts expect the Fed to leave short-term interest rates unchanged, there is uncertainty over whether or not the Fed will adopt a tightening bias.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was up 30 to 10,884.

The

S&P 500

was up 1 to 1340. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was up 3 to 2565. The

Russell 2000

was up 1 to 443.

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index was down 3 to 638.

The 30-year Treasury bond was up 11/32 to 91 11/32, yielding 5.87%.

Most Up at Open -- NYSE

Charles Schwab (SCH) , up 2 13/16 to 116 3/4

: Schwab said it will go ahead with its 2-for-1 stock split after obtaining approval from shareholders.

Most Up at Open -- Nasdaq

Varlen (VRLN) , up 9 5/16 to 35 1/4

: Privately held

Amsted Industries

, a rail, truck and auto parts maker, launched a hostile bid for Varlen.

Most Down at Open -- NYSE

Royal Dutch Petroleum (RD) , down 1 7/16 to 55

.

Most Down at Open -- Nasdaq

Com21 (CMTO) , down 5 3/16 to 25 1/16

.

--

Brian Louis