US stocks rise ahead of expected interest rate hike by Fed

A currency trader walks by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, and foreign exchange rates bat a foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Asian shares fell Monday after another week of sizable losses on Wall Street, as investors brace for another interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A choppy day of trading on Wall Street ended with stocks closing higher Monday as investors brace for another big interest rate increase this week from the Federal Reserve.

The indexes swayed between modest gains and losses for much of the day before a burst of buying in the final hour of trading. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, climbing back from a 0.9% slide. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq composite climbed 0.8%.

Technology stocks, retailers, banks and industrial companies helped lift the market. Apple rose 2.5%, Home Depot gained 1.6%, Bank of America rose 1.7% and United Airlines closed 3.3% higher.

Health care and real estate stocks fell, tempering gains elsewhere in the market. Pfizer fell 1.3% and Welltower slid 2.2%.

The yield on the 2-year Treasury, which tends to follow expectations for Fed action, rose to 3.94% from 3.87% late Friday. The 10-year yield, which influences mortgage rates, rose to 3.49% from 3.45%.

Smaller company stocks also gained ground. The Russell 2000 closed 0.8% higher.

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Trading volume was lower than usual, a sign most traders were not eager to make big changes ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy announcement Wednesday afternoon, said Scott Ladner, chief investment officer at Horizon Investments.

“No one really wants to position ahead of it,” he said. “It’s been such a slippery market on both the upside and the downside.”

The S&P 500 rose 26.56 points to 3,899.89, while the Dow added 197.26 points to 31,019.68. The Nasdaq rose 86.62 points to 11,535.02 and the Russell 2000 added 14.65 points to 1,812.84.

Wall Street remains focused on inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to lower prices by aggressively raising interest rates. On Wednesday, the central bank will announce its latest decision on rates. It is expected to raise its benchmark rate, which influences interest rates throughout the economy, another three-quarters of a percentage point.

The broader market is coming off of its worst week in three months following a surprisingly hot report on inflation and big companies, including FedEx, warning about worsening trends in the economy.

Wall Street has been worried that the Fed’s plan to cool the hottest inflation in four decades could be too aggressive and throw the economy into a recession by pumping the brakes on growth too hard. The higher rates also tend to weigh on stocks, especially the pricier technology sector.

Investors will get another update on the housing sector on Wednesday when the National Association of Realtors releases August figures for sales of previously occupied homes.

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed above 6% last week for the first time since the housing crash of 2008. The higher rates could make an already tight housing market even more expensive for American homebuyers.

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Britain was observing a day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Germany’s DAX rose 0.5% while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1% while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.3%. Japan’s markets were closed for a holiday.

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AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed to this report from Bangkok.