NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks slowly moved higher throughout Tuesday's session, managing to close with impressive gains despite earlier jitters surrounding the start of the Federal Reserve's monthly meeting.
The S&P 500 added 0.57%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.63%, and the Nasdaq added 0.51%.
The Fed will release a statement Wednesday afternoon and a press conference will follow. Economists don't expect the Fed to raise interest rates until September at the earliest.
"The key is going to be trying to gauge [Fed Chair Janet] Yellen's mood," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets, in an investor conference call. "She's a dovish member and the Fed is generally dovish. The Fed would like to move off zero but at the same time they want to try to make sure the markets understand that the pace of rate increases is not going to be 'set it and forget it'... They're going to keep it data dependent."
Procter & Gamble (PG) was among the best performers on the day following reports that it had sold its Max Factor, Covergirl and Wella brands to Coty (COTY) for as much as $12 billion, according to the New York Post. Procter shares gained 1.3% while Coty surged 19%.
There were more signs of consolidation in the health care sector as UnitedHealth (UNH) reportedly approached Aetna (AET) about a takeover deal worth more than $40 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Health insurance company Cigna (CI) was reportedly approached by Anthem (ANTM) with a bid, according to reports on Monday.