June 18, 2013 / 4:26 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rises before Fed meeting to consider stimulus

3 Min Read

* Fed's policy committee to start two-day meeting

* Sony ADRs higher as Third Point raises stake

* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct

By Alison Griswold

NEW YORK, June 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, led by growth-oriented sectors, as Federal Reserve policymakers gathered for a two-day meeting to discuss the future of the Fed's bond-buying to stimulate the economy.

With the Fed expected to maintain the current level of purchases, shares of industrial, technology and consumer discretionary companies rallied. General Electric gained 1 percent to $24.02 and was the second most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

Traders are trying to anticipate the Fed's timeline for winding down purchases of $85 billion per month of bonds, known as quantitative easing, that have underpinned the S&P 500's rally to all-time highs in May.

The expectation is that the Fed will change its rhetoric on tapering to ease "hysteria" in the markets since talk that a change may be coming sooner than expected caught fire in May, said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"The volatility is absolutely 100 percent tied to the confluence of themes, the two themes being quantitative easing on the one hand and improving economic data on the other hand, which supports the removing of quantitative easing," said Kenny.

The rally halted after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on May 22 the Fed could begin to reduce its stimulus in the "next few meetings" if the economy gains momentum and inflation remains moderate. Intraday swings by stock indexes have widened, although the S&P 500 closed on Monday less than 1 percent below the May 22 close.

Consumer prices rose slightly last month, the government said on Tuesday, giving the deflation-wary Fed some respite. The consumer price index, excluding food and energy, advanced 1.7 percent in the 12 months since May, indicating inflation pressures remain subdued.

The S&P 500 is forecast to end 2013 at 1,700, according to the median forecast from 42 analysts surveyed by Reuters in the past week. That 19 percent gain for 2013 would mark the best year since 2009.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 103.95 points or 0.68 percent, to 15,283.8, the S&P 500 gained 8.62 points or 0.53 percent, to 1,647.66 and the Nasdaq Composite added 23.56 points or 0.68 percent, to 3,475.69.

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 0.25 percent to $103.29 after earlier touching a 5 1/2-year high.

U.S.-traded shares of Sony rose 3.2 percent to $21.39 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.

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