NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher in late afternoon Wednesday as investors waited to hear from the Federal Reserve and worked through company news. Beer companies gained on word of a possible deal between two giant brewers and energy stocks rose sharply following a big jump in the price of oil.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 122 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,721 as of 3:17 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,992 and the Nasdaq composite added 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,882.
FED FOCUS: Investors are closely watching the Federal Reserve and the start of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday. The central bank could raise its benchmark interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade after the meeting.
Investors' opinions are mixed on the chance of a rate increase.
"I just don't think the economy is strong enough and inflation remains too low to justify a rate increase," said Tom di Galoma, head of fixed income rates trading at ED&F Man Capital.