U.S. Shares Extend Gains Ahead of Fed Meeting, S&P 500 On Course for New Records

U.S. shares continued to track its rally on Tuesday with the S&P 500 index heading for its sixth positive session of the past seven. Investors were awaiting the start of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which is expected to provide hints on more rate hikes that may come later in this year and next.

The S&P 500 index jumped in 0.12 percent in morning trading session after having closed at a record on Monday. Although it was a few points below its own intraday peak, the close marked the 35th of 2017 that the stock benchmark index has set new record highs.

Six out of eleven sectors were trading higher on Tuesday with financial stocks among biggest gainers. The group which jumped 0.71 percent was boosted by shares of insurance names such as Progressive Corp. and Allstate Corp. ALL. While shares of the former climbed 3.27 percent – setting themselves the biggest gainer in the industry, those of the latter added nearly 0.8 percent.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although the two-day meeting is not expected to result in a rate hike, details that the central bank might give about the unwinding of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet and clues on the central bank’s rate-hike path in the coming months are highly awaited.

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