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Midday Report: Stocks Slightly Higher Ahead of Fed Meeting

Stocks made small gains by midday Tuesday.

All three major indexes teetered back and forth on Tuesday as Wall Street waits for more from the Fed's two-day monetary policy meeting starting today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up highest of the three U.S. benchmarks, gaining as much as 0.12%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both hovering around zero.

The Federal Reserve's two-day September FOMC meeting kicks off Tuesday. Governors are expected to keep interest rates at current levels, as the market has priced in a near-zero chance of a hike this month. Investors are much more certain, though, that the Fed plans to start trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Most prognosticators see the FOMC increasing rates at the December meeting. 

Telecom stocks led the market as the strongest performers. Whispers of deal talks between T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get T-Mobile US, Inc. Report and Sprint (S) - Get SENTINELONE, INC. Report triggered a rally among other industry peers. If a deal were to happen, T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telecom (DTEGY)  could become the majority owner of the third and fourth largest mobile carriers in the U.S.

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President Donald Trump addressed the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday. Trump told world leaders that he would "always put America first." He also said that now was a time of "immense promise and great peril." Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was head of a "depraved" regime and that the U.S. was "ready, willing and able" to use military force against the nation.

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