MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Trade In Record Territory Ahead Of Fed Policy Decision

By Sue Chang and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Boeing soars, accounting for bulk of Dow gain

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U.S. stock indexes set a new round of records Wednesday on the latest batch of upbeat earnings from heavyweights Boeing Co. and AT&T Inc., before investors shift their focus to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision announcement.

The S&P 500 index rose a point to 2,478, with seven of its 11 main sectors trading higher. Telecoms were leading the gains, climbing 2.9%, putting the group on pace for its best daily advance since August 2015, according to FactSet data, following stronger-than-expected earnings from AT&T.

The Nasdaq Composite Index added 9 points, or 0.2%, to 6,422. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 91 points, or 0.4%, to 21,703, setting an all-time intraday high of 21,742. Among blue-chip companies, Boeing shares (BA)jumped more than 8% to new highs (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-shares-soar-to-record-after-close-to-perfect-earnings-report-2017-07-26), powering the Dow into record territory.

The main equity gauges were on track to close at records, underlining a trend of repeated highs for stocks driven in part by improving corporate results and optimism around the global economic climate.

"The market is right to be driven by earnings and so far we've had enough upside surprises. Because it has been the most hated bull market, there is still room to grow," said Kim Forrest, senior portfolio manager at Fort Pitt Capital.

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Economic docket: The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting is due to end with an announcement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged but may provide clues to the path of future rate increases and its plan to begin unwinding its balance sheet.

See:Fed to stick to plans for rate hike, balance-sheet selloff this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-retreat-fed-to-stick-to-plans-for-rate-hike-balance-sheet-selloff-this-year-2017-07-24)

Fed officials are "hypersensitive" about upsetting investors, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. As such, "we expect a well-telegraphed tapering timetable which will likely commence in October. While it's difficult to assess how investors will ultimately react, particularly if other central banks follow suit, the good news is that central bankers would likely turn on their heels and reverse course if equity investors got too upset," he said in a note.

The Commerce Department said new-home sales in June came in at a 610,000 annual pace, a pickup of 0.8% from downwardly revised May data.

Stock movers: Shares in Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) soared 5.7% after the chip maker reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-jumps-after-beating-on-earnings-raising-forecast-2017-07-25) and raised its guidance late Tuesday.

See:AMD earnings give investors what they wanted, now it must deliver more (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-earnings-give-investors-what-they-wanted-now-it-must-deliver-2017-07-25)

Telecom (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/att-shares-rise-more-than-2-as-company-beats-earnings-expectations-2017-07-25) company AT&T Inc. (T) jumped 4.8% after the company posted better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

Healthy burrito chain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-shares-rise-as-earnings-beat-wall-streets-estimates-2017-07-25)Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG) initially rose following stronger-than-expected results, but reversed to trade 1.4% lower.

Biotech giant Amgen Inc.(AMGN) fell 2.6% following its quarterly report (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amgen-shares-down-3-after-companys-guidance-on-lower-end-of-expectations-2017-07-25).

Coca-Cola Co.(KO) gained 0.8% after the beverage company reported better-than-expected earnings and lifted its full-year earnings outlook.

Ford Motor Co.(F) shares fell 1.9% even thought the car maker reported earnings above Wall Street expectations and gave positive guidance for the full year.

Insurer Anthem Inc.(ANTM) shares slid 2.2% as quarterly earnings came in above expectations, but revenue fell short.

Aerospace heavyweight Boeing (BA) shares jumped 8.3% after better-than-expected earnings and lifting its full-year guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-raises-guidance-after-profit-beat-2017-07-26).

Facebook Inc.'s (FB) earnings release is on tap after the market closes Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-earnings-after-a-sudden-change-instagram-is-in-focus-2017-07-24).

Other markets: European stock markets were uniformly higher while Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-aussie-stocks-continue-to-rise-spurred-on-by-commodity-prices-2017-07-26) closed mixed. Gold futures lost ground and a key dollar index edged up.

Oil futures climbed on data that showed that U.S. inventories have fallen sharply for a fourth straight week. A rise of almost 1% in the early going (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-rally-continues-as-optimism-builds-ahead-us-supply-data-2017-07-26) looks to stretch crude's week-to-date gain to about 5%.

See:Here's why oil just scored its biggest one-day rally of 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-oil-prices-scored-their-biggest-one-day-rally-of-2017-2017-07-25)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 13:38 ET (17:38 GMT)