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Overnight Markets: US stocks close higher ahead of Fed decision

Overnight Markets: US stocks close higher ahead of Fed decision

Wall Street closed slightly higher on Tuesday in a volatile session as energy stocks were weighed by a steep drop in oil prices ahead of a crucial policy announcement from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83 points, or 0.4%, at 23,676, while S&P 500 index added less than a point to close at 2,546. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 30 points, an ascent of 0.5%, to 6,784.

All three benchmarks closed off their early morning highs, when the Dow climbed as high as 335 points, the S&P 28 points, while the Nasdaq rose 83 points, at its highest.

A sharp decline in the price of oil dragged energy companies deeper into the red for the year, and in late-afternoon trading pushed major indexes down before stocks staged a late rally to end the day positive.

Stocks briefly tumbled into the red amid worries that ongoing fights on Capitol Hill could lead to a government shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats had rejected his spending bill proposal.

Investors are also awaiting Wednesday's Fed decision, which comes amid intense pressure from President Donald Trump on the US central bank to keep rates low.

Oil giants Chevron and ExxonMobil both plunged more than 2% as US oil prices sank 7% on worries about excess supply amid sluggish global growth.

Despite Tuesday’s losses, several stocks managed to reverse a pattern of declines.

Shares of Boeing Co rose 3.8% after three days of losses as the aerospace company said it was raising its dividend and increasing share buybacks to $20 billion from $18 billion.

Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc, collectively known as FAANG, gained between 1.3% and 3.1%.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc shares rose 1.7% to snap a nine-day losing streak related to the 1MDB scandal.

Johnson & Johnson gained 0.7%, after a near 13% decline over two days on a Reuters report that J&J knew for decades that its Baby Powder contained asbestos.

In Asia, shares were trading mixed on Wednesday in morning session, with the widely watched SoftBank Corp tumbling on its trading debut in Japan.

The Nikkei 225 dipped 0.81% and the Topix index was down 0.11%. Australian stocks were also in negative territory. The ASX 200 slipped by 0.58%. South Korean stocks, however, bucked the trend. The Kospi index was 0.68% higher.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.45%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was trading up 0.06%.

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