MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Tries For Eighth Straight Daily Gain As Fed Comes Into Focus
By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica
Dollar slips as FOMC prepares to kick off two-day meeting
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow hitting its latest in a string of records as investors awaited the start of a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve policy makers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32 points, or 0.1%, to 22,364, hitting an all-time high in early trading. On Monday, the blue-chip average notched its 40th record close of the year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-sp-500-line-up-for-fresh-records-to-start-the-week-2017-09-18). It is currently on track for its eighth straight daily gain, its longest streak since August.
The S&P 500 index rose 1.5 point to 2,505, a rise of less than 0.1%. The S&P also ended at a record on Monday, its 35th of 2017, but it is a few points below its own intraday peak. If the benchmark index ends higher on Tuesday, that will mark its sixth positive session of the past seven. The Nasdaq Composite Index traded flat at 6,454. Still, the tech-heavy index is currently up about 20% year to date, though it is a few points from its intraday record.
Financial stocks were among the biggest gainers of the day, with the sector up about 0.3%, the biggest advance among the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors. The group was driven by insurance names; Progressive Corp. (PGR) was the biggest gainer in the industry, up 3.2%. Allstate Corp.(ALL) rose 1.1%.
"The increasingly positive market sentiment remains on track as the Federal Reserve begins its two- day meeting today. This prospect could begin to pull traders to the sidelines over the next day and a half, but for now there is a risk-positive theme running through the markets," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, in a note.
The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to say it will start reducing its $4.5 trillion portfolio of government securities when it releases its policy update on Wednesday. Rates are forecast to stay on hold, but traders will be looking hints if more hike are coming later in the year.