NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks rose for a third time Tuesday as investors await guidance from the Federal Reserve about the future of its sweeping economic stimulus program.
The S&P 500 rose 0.42% to close at 1,704.76 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.29% to finish at 15,539.63. The Nasdaq gained 0.75% to 3,745.70.
The S&P has gained 4.4% in September, but is sideways since the end of July as investors voiced concern about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery and the possibility that the Fed would begin to curb the stimulus measures that helped fuel the S&P 500's 18% gain during the first seven months of 2013. The S&P 500 has advanced 1.1% since July 31.
"Everybody thought that tapering was going to take the market down, but so far it hasn't," said Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management. "So far, the big scary September-October period hasn't been so scary."
Safeway (SWY) was the biggest gainer on the S&P, surging 10.5% to $30.99 as the food and drug retailer said it's implementing a one-year stockholder rights plan that includes the activation of a poison pill if a person or group acquires 10% or more of the company's outstanding common stock or 15% or more in the case of a passive institutional investor. Safeway made the announcement after it "became aware of an accumulation of a significant amount of the common stock of the company."