Stocks rise broadly on Wall Street ahead of Fed statement

<p><p>Stocks rose broadly on Wall Street Wednesday ahead of an update from the Federal Reserve on how and when it might begin easing its extraordinary support measures for the economy.</p></p><p><p>The S&amp;P 500 rose 1.2% as of 12:38 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 444 points, or 1.3%, to 34,634 and the Nasdaq rose 1.1%.</p></p><p><p>Gains within the S&amp;P 500 were broad and could potentially break a four-day losing streak for the index, if they hold. More than 90% of stocks in the index rose.</p></p><p><p>Banks and technology companies led the gains. Communications companies and utilities lagged the market.</p></p><p><p>Smaller stocks did better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 rose 1.7%.</p></p><p><p>The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 1.32%. Crude oil prices rose 1.9%.</p></p><p><p>Netflix jumped 3.3% after the streaming entertainment service <a href=”” target=”—blank”>acquired the works of Roald Dahl</a>, the late British author of celebrated children’s books such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”</p></p><p><p>Facebook fell 4.2% and tempered gains for communications stocks.</p></p><p><p>The social media company’s <a href=”″ target=”—blank”>oversight board said</a> it will review an internal system that exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules.</p></p><p><p>FedEx slumped 8.2% after it <a href=”” target=”—blank”>reported sharply higher costs</a> even as demand for shipping increased.</p></p><p><p>A wide range of industrial and other companies have been dealing with higher costs because of a mix of labor and supply chain problems.</p></p><p><p>Investors’ key focus on Wednesday is the Fed’s statement on interest rate policy.</p></p><p><p>The central bank has been buying bonds to keep interest rates low since the pandemic sapped the economy 18 months ago.</p></p><p><p>It has signaled that it will eventually reduce those purchases, but the breadth and timing is still unknown.</p></p><p><p>Wall Street has been trying to gauge how the slowdown in the economic recovery will affect the Fed’s decision-making process.</p></p><p><p>The broader market has been choppy as that question lingers amid rising cases of COVID-19 because of the highly contagious delta variant.</p></p><p><p>Investors have also been concerned about heavily indebted Chinese real estate developers and the damage they could do if they default and send ripple effects through markets.</p></p><p><p><a href=”″ target=”—blank”>Evergrande,</a> one of China’s biggest private sector conglomerates, said it will make a payment due Thursday, potentially easing some of those concerns.</p></p><p><p>European markets were mostly higher and Asian markets were mixed. Markets in South Korea and Hong Kong were closed for holidays.</p></p>