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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

US open: Stocks higher ahead of Fed decision

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks were in the green early on Wednesday as traders came to terms with the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate decision. As of 1545 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.07% at 36,604.18, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.21% to 4,653.39 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.26% firmer at 14,571.80.

The Dow opened 26.24 points higher on Wednesday, extending gains recorded in the previous session as market participants digested some key inflation data.

Wednesday's primary focus will be the US central bank, which was widely expected to hold its benchmark overnight borrowing rate steady at 5.25-5.5% range. However, investors will also pay close attention to comments from FOMC chairman Jerome Powell for any hints as to just how soon rate cuts can be expected.

The Fed's decision comes just 24 hours after a report from the Department of Labor revealed that the cost of living had drifted a tad lower in November amid another decline in energy prices. In seasonally adjusted terms, the country's consumer price index edged up by 0.1% month-on-month, while in annual terms, on the other hand, the rate of change ticked lower by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.1%.

Elsewhere on the macro front, US mortgage applications surged by 7.4% in the week ending 8 December, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, marking a sixth consecutive increase and pushing applications to their highest level in more than four months, mostly due to a continuous decline in interest rates. Refinancing applications saw a significant uptick of 19.4% week-on-week, while applications for new home purchases rebounded by 3.5% as the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 7.07% - hitting its lowest point since late July.

On another note, wholesale prices were held in check last month by a drop in energy costs, with producer prices coming in flat month-on-month in November, according to the Labor Department. In annual terms, however, so-called final demand price growth slowed from 1.2% in October to 0.9%. On the goods side of the equation, prices were unchanged on the month, with a 1.2% drop in energy prices offsetting a 0.6% rise in food costs.

In the corporate space, drugmaker Pfizer shares traded lower after issuing full-year profit and revenue guidance that lagged consensus. Pfizer also revealed on Wednesday that it has now received all regulatory approvals needed to close its $43.0bn acquisition of Seagen after agreeing to donate the rights of royalties from sales of its Bavencio cancer drug to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

Dow Jones - Risers

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $105.06 0.67% Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $146.89 0.65% McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $293.28 0.64% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $195.85 0.59% Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $257.62 0.46% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $91.47 0.44% Boeing Co. (BA) $249.49 0.35% Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $375.55 0.31% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $274.61 0.23% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $59.51 0.14%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $36.61 -1.85% Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $153.50 -1.01% International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $163.13 -0.96% 3M Co. (MMM) $101.82 -0.72% Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $22.79 -0.61% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $542.80 -0.54% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $49.13 -0.40% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $160.08 -0.27% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $332.86 -0.10% Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $50.77 -0.10%

S&P 500 - Risers

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $390.30 7.57% Revvity, Inc. (RVTY) $93.57 4.59% Albemarle Corp. (ALB) $133.60 4.42% Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (EW) $74.13 2.95% Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $161.47 2.72% Mohawk Inds Inc. (MHK) $93.50 2.66% Incyte Corp. (INCY) $64.72 2.44% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $120.19 2.17% L3Harris Technologies Inc. (LHX) $204.29 1.99% Boston Properties Inc. (BXP) $63.99 1.98%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $26.08 -8.75% Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) $28.65 -5.48% Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $4.12 -3.96% Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) $71.23 -3.10% United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL) $39.88 -2.98% American Airlines Group (AAL) $13.66 -2.67% Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) $16.31 -2.46% Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) $31.55 -2.26% Gap Inc. (GPS) $20.82 -2.25% Macy's Inc. (M) $18.67 -2.13%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $390.30 7.57% Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $161.47 2.72% Incyte Corp. (INCY) $64.72 2.44% Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $120.19 2.17% Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $483.40 1.43% Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $324.73 1.02% Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $872.30 0.99% Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) $1,086.03 0.91% Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $50.05 0.87% Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $141.51 0.84%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $4.12 -3.96% American Airlines Group (AAL) $13.66 -2.67% Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $8.18 -2.09% Tesla Inc (TSLA) $232.74 -1.80% Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $624.34 -1.80% Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $111.31 -1.63% Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $1,590.75 -1.62% Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $15.80 -1.20% Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $144.37 -1.16% Hasbro Inc (HAS) $47.85 -1.08%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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