MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Dow, Nasdaq End At Records

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Dollar slips as FOMC kicks off two-day meeting

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All three main U.S. stock indexes ended at all-time highs on Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting where they are expected to finalize the details on the unwinding of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.45 points, or 0.2%, to 22,370.80, climbing for the eighth consecutive session and notching its 41st record close of the year.

The S&P 500 index rose 2.78 points, or 0.1%, to 2,506.65, closing at a record for the 36th time this year. Tuesday's gain is its sixth over the past seven sessions.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.68 points to 6,461.32, a gain of 0.1%. The tech-heavy index set a record for the 49th time in 2017 and is currently up 20% year-to-date.

Telecoms stocks were the biggest gainers of the day, up 2.3%. Financial were among the best performers, with the sector up about 0.8%.

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"Markets are paying attention to what they should be paying attention and that is earnings growth," said Karyn Cavanaugh, senior market strategist at Voya Financial.

Cavanaugh did not rule out pullbacks in the near future, but noted that investors should not worry about the Federal Reserve's plan to reduce its balance sheet.

"Any reduction in the Fed balance sheet will be gradual and it is happening on the backdrop of improving economy in the U.S. and globally. But at the same time, we don't know how the market will react because we have never had this situation before," Cavanaugh said.

The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to say it will start reducing its $4.5 trillion portfolio of government securities when it releases its policy update on Wednesday. Rates are forecast to stay on hold, but traders will be looking hints if more hike are coming later in the year.

Read:Fed's balance-sheet unwind will be moment of truth for financial markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-balance-sheet-unwind-will-be-moment-of-truth-for-financial-markets-2017-09-18)

The dollar gave up some of its recent gains ahead of the Fed meeting, with the ICE Dollar Index down 0.3% at 91.78 on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump gave his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/capitolreport/2017/09/19/president-donald-trump-speaks-to-the-united-nations-live-blog-and-video/), and at one point stated that the U.S. was "ready, willing and able" to act against North Korea militarily, and that the U.S. would "totally destroy" the country if necessary. Markets were little impacted by the speech.

Other economic news: So-called housing starts slipped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-dip-in-august-but-permits-surge-in-sign-of-optimism-2017-09-19)0.8% to an annual rate of 1.18 million in August from an upwardly revised 1.19 million in July. Permits to build new homes jumped 5.7% to a 1.3 million rate, matching the level in January and marking the second highest amount since 2007.

The import-price index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cost-of-imported-goods-surge-in-august-led-by-fuel-2017-09-19)jumped 0.6% last month to match the biggest increase since January, largely due to higher oil prices.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Stock movers: Shares of Best Buy Co. Inc.(BBY) dropped 8% after its earnings outlook fell short of expectations.

AutoZone Inc.(AZO) fell 5% despite the auto parts retailer reported earnings and revenue that beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/autozones-stock-rallies-after-profit-and-sales-rise-above-expectations-2017-09-19). The auto parts retailer said its same-store sales grew at 1% instead of 1.6% increased forecast by analysts.

Shares of Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) rose 0.7% after the company and Plains All American Pipeline LP(PAA) said late Monday they will drop a deal for Valero to acquire two California distribution terminals (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/valero-plains-all-american-drop-deal-after-california-lawsuit-2017-09-18) after interference from the state's attorney general.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.(KORS) shares jumped 3.4% after Oppenheimer analysts upgraded the stock to outperform from perform.

Other markets: Asian markets closed mixed, while European stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-slip-as-traders-wait-for-fed-rate-update-2017-09-19) ended with modest gains.

Oil prices gave up gains to trade lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-resumes-climb-on-talk-of-extended-production-cut-2017-09-19), and gold inched higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-stalls-at-three-week-low-as-feds-signals-on-late-year-policy-awaited-2017-09-19) but most other metals declined.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2017 16:28 ET (20:28 GMT)