* Fed's policy committee to start two-day meeting
* Sony ADRs higher as Third Point raises stake
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, June 18 U.S. stocks edged up in
morning trading on Tuesday ahead of the start of a
highly-anticipated Federal Reserve meeting.
The Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee
starts a two-day meeting Tuesday and markets are on tenterhooks
as traders try to anticipate the Fed's timeline for winding down
a bond-buying program that has been fundamental for price moves
in various markets.
Speculation over the meeting has shaken markets
significantly after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on May 22 the
Fed could begin to scale down its stimulus if the U.S. economy
gains momentum, comments that brought the equities rally to a
Volatility has spiked since, but the S&P 500 closed Monday
less than one percent below the close on May 22. Intraday ranges
have widened, but the market has largely moved sideways.
Data showed U.S. housing starts rose less than expected in
May but the overall trend remained consistent with strength in
the housing market, while consumer prices rose giving the
deflation-wary Fed some respite.
The Fed's policy won't show major changes after the meeting
according to Todd Salamone, director of research at Schaeffer's
Investment Research in Cincinnati.
"They won't do anything in this meeting and I think the data
supports that," Salamone said. "We remain in a holding pattern
until the policy statement is released (Wednesday) afternoon."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 43.4 points or
0.29 percent, to 15,223.25, the S&P 500 gained 2.72
points or 0.17 percent, to 1,641.76 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 10.68 points or 0.31 percent, to 3,462.81.
Boeing launched a larger version of its flagship
Dreamliner aircraft at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday, sharpening
the battle with rival Airbus in the market for
fuel-efficient, long-distance jets. Boeing shares ticked up 0.5
percent to $103.63, a fresh 5-1/2 year high.
U.S.-traded shares of Sony rose 3.7 percent to
$21.48 as New York-based hedge fund Third Point said it has
raised its stake in the Japanese company and urged its
leadership to create an independent board to run a partially
spun-off entertainment arm.
Shares of Hormel Foods Corp fell 4 percent to $39.04
after the maker of Spam meat cut its full-year outlook.