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US Stock Trade Muted Ahead of Fed      06/19 09:54

   U.S. stocks moved sideways in early trading Wednesday on Wall Street ahead 
of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve statement on interest rates.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks moved sideways in early trading Wednesday on 
Wall Street ahead of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve statement on interest 

   The muted trading follows two days of gains that are driving a June rebound 
in stocks after a dismal sell-off in May. The broad S&P 500 index is within 
striking range of its all-time high, set on April 30.

   Financial companies, including banks, led the early gainers as bond yields 
rose. The higher yields allow banks to charge higher interest rates on loans. 
Wells Fargo rose 1.2% and U.S. Bancorp rose 1%.

   Drug developer Allergan rose 3.5% and helped push gains for health care 
stocks. Cardinal Health rose 1.4%.

   Software maker Adobe rose 3.3% on solid profit results and did most of the 
heavy lifting for technology companies, though the sector was wobbling overall 
between small gains and losses. Hewlett Packard rose 1.1%.

   Communications stocks and companies that rely on consumer spending led the 
laggards. Facebook fell 1.5% as it faces Congressional criticism over its 
cryptocurrency plans. Nike fell 1% and Sysco fell 1.8%.

   Stocks opened the week higher and rallied on Tuesday after President Donald 
Trump said he plans to meet with China's president at the end of the month to 
discuss their ongoing trade war. The announcement injected some hope into a 
market that has been volatile because of concerns over the lingering trade 
dispute and its potential impact on economic growth.

   The market has rallied in the past and then dipped again because of 
seemingly good news on trade talks that did not result in any concrete progress.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.1% as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57 points, or 0.2%, to 26,518. The Nasdaq 
composite was unchanged.

   FED FOCUS: Investors are waiting for a highly anticipated statement from the 
Federal Reserve this afternoon that could help give more direction on the 
future of interest rates.

   The central bank isn't expected to cut rates today, but it has already 
signaled that it is prepared to take that action in order to help stabilize the 
U.S. economy if trade disputes cut into growth. Investors are betting on at 
least one interest rate cut this year, possibly as early as July.

   The Fed's statement comes a day after the head of the European Central Bank 
said it was ready to cut interest rates and provide additional economic 
stimulus if necessary.

   COMFY RESULTS: La-Z-Boy rose 3.7% after investors brushed off weak sales and 
cheered a solid fourth quarter profit report.

   The company, known for its reclining chairs, met Wall Street's profit 
expectations, despite its revenue falling just shy of forecasts. It warned that 
tariffs hurt its Canadian business during the quarter, but those tariffs were 
lifted in May.

   DURABLE STEEL: United States Steel rose 5.8% after the company said it is 
idling three blast furnaces as it takes action to offset the impact of lower 
prices and weaker demand. The move was cheered by investors even as the company 
offered a weak profit forecast for the second quarter. 


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