Stocks were higher in intraday trading Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve's announcement on interest rates.
Stocks rose Tuesday and the S&P 500 finished higher for the third consecutive session as tech stocks led the charge. The Nasdaq, home to a fair number of the largest U.S. tech stocks, rose 1.2%.
The Federal Reserve is expected Wednesday to hold rates near zero, where it lowered them to at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, and reaffirm its new, more relaxed stance on inflation.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in August the central bank would keep interest rates low even if inflation rises above its target levels.
The Fed will announce its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference from Powell.
"Fed Chairman Jerome Powell used his virtual Jackson Hole platform last month to announce changes to the central bank's monetary policy framework, targeting average inflation of 2%; in effect allowing for inflation overshoot after a period of falling short. Given the length of time that inflation has done just that, investors were buoyed by the prospect of an even more prolonged period of zero interest rates and perhaps even more stimulus," wrote Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Europe. "While we're not anticipating more easing today, there is an expectation that the Fed will provide further colour on the changes announced last month. What exactly does this mean for monetary policy? Can we expect more asset purchases? Negative interest rates? Yield curve control? At what stage should we factor in rate increases?"
Jim Cramer weighs in on what he wants to hear from the Fed later today.
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