Stocks edge higher as Fed kicks off 2-day meeting


NEW YORK — Stocks are edging higher in midday trading on Wall Street, putting the market on track for its third gain in a row.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 42 points, or 0.3 percent, at 15,537 as of noon today.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose five points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,702. The S&P 500 is seven points below its record high reached on Aug. 2.

The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points, or 0.5 percent, at 3,736.

Trading was light as Federal Reserve policymakers gathered for a two-day meeting. Many expect the Fed to reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program.

Microsoft rose 20 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $33 after announcing a 22 percent dividend increase and a $40 billion stock buyback program.