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US Stocks Edge Higher                  12/11 09:24

   U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday as investors watch 
closely for developments on trade and await the Federal Reserve's latest 
announcement on interest rate policy.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading Wednesday as 
investors watch closely for developments on trade and await the Federal 
Reserve's latest announcement on interest rate policy.

   Wall Street is hoping for enough progress on trade negotiations this week to 
avoid a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods that include phones, laptops and 
other popular products. The new tariffs are scheduled to take effect Sunday and 
would mark an escalation in the trade war as the world's two largest economies 
continue pushing for a deal.

   Reports have suggested that the new tariffs could be delayed. Tension over 
the next move has made for choppy trading this week that has pushed the major 
indexes lower.

   Health care and technology companies led the gains. Vertex Pharmaceuticals 
rose 1.6% and Micron climbed 3.1%.

   Real estate and energy companies lagged the market. The yield on the 10-year 
Treasury slipped to 1.82% from 1.83% late Tuesday.

   Some companies were making big moves after releasing earnings reports. 
Ollie's Bargain Outlet surged 17.2% after reporting surprisingly good 
third-quarter profit and revenue. GameStop plunged 13.6% after issuing a 
surprising loss and cutting its profit forecast.

   Boeing shed 2%. Home Depot slipped 1.2% after giving investors a weak sales 
forecast.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.3% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The 
Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16 points, or 0.1%, to 27,895. The Nasdaq 
rose 0.4%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.2%

   European and Asian markets were mixed. 

   FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve is set to leave its benchmark interest rate 
unchanged Wednesday and will likely signal that it expects rates to remain low 
well into next year despite a robust job market. The central bank reversed 
course in 2019 and cut rates three times to help support an economy threatened 
by trade disputes and slower growth. Many economists have said they think 
sluggish growth will even compel the Fed to cut rates at least once in 2020.

   LOW GAS: Chevron fell just under 1% after the energy company warned 
investors about a potential charge of up to $11 billion because of lower 
long-term prices for oil and natural gas. The huge fourth-quarter write-down 
underscores the challenge posed by rising production that has prevented energy 
prices from increasing sharply during a time of increasing global demand. 


(AG)

 
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