Stock market today: Wall Street ticks higher as it makes final moves ahead of the Fed

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rise Tuesday as Wall Street waits to find out what the Federal Reserve will do about interest rates.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in late trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237 points, or 0.6%, with less than an hour of trading remaining, and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.2%.

All three indexes erased losses from earlier in the day.

International Paper jumped 11.1%, the biggest gain in the S&P 500 after naming Andrew Silvernail, an executive at investment firm KKR, as its new chief executive.

Shares in U.S.-traded Unilever rose 2.7% after it said it was spinning off Ben & Jerry's and its ice cream business, while cutting 7,500 jobs.

Nvidia, which has become one of the most influential stocks on the market, fluctuated throughout the day. Nvidia swung from an initial drop of nearly 4% to a 0.6% gain after unveiling new products at its developer conference. Analysts called them powerful and said they would keep Nvidia ahead of its competitors. Its stock has already more than tripled compared to the previous year.

On the losing side of Wall Street was Super Micro Computer, whose shares had previously gone from less than $100 to more than $1,000 in a year. The seller of servers and storage systems used in artificial intelligence and other computing sank 10.7% after saying it was looking to sell 2 million shares.

Elsewhere on Wall Street, attention was focused on the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is beginning its latest interest rate meeting and will announce its decision on Wednesday. The general expectation is that it will leave its main interest rate at its highest level in two decades. The hope is that he will indicate that he still hopes to cut rates three times by the end of this year, as he hinted at a few months ago.

U.S. stock indexes have set records recently, partly on hopes of such cuts, which would ease pressure on the economy and financial system. But recent inflation reports have been consistently worse than expected. That could force the Federal Reserve to say it will make fewer rate cuts this year, and traders have already abandoned earlier expectations that the first cut of the year would come on Wednesday.

Bank of America strategists expect Fed officials to stick to forecasts that show the average member still expects three cuts in 2024. But it's a close call and "risks lean toward fewer cuts being signaled," according to strategists led by Mark Cabana.

Treasury yields fell in the bond market ahead of the announcement. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 4.29% from 4.33% late Monday.

High yields and interest rates can hurt stock prices overall, while absorbing dollars and enthusiasm from excited parts of the market.

The price of Bitcoin has been falling overall since reaching a high of over $73,000 last week. It is known for carrying investors through sharp price swings. It fell further on Tuesday and fell below $64,900.

In overseas stock markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% after the Bank of Japan raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in 17 years. In a historic move, he moved the rate back to a range of zero to 0.1% and made other changes, ending a long experiment of below-zero rates aimed at boosting the economy and inflation.

The era-defining move was widely expected and still keeps interest rate policies flexible, analysts said.

Shares fell 1.2% in Hong Kong and 0.7% in Shanghai after troubled property developer China Evergrande Group said it was fined 4.2 billion yuan by Beijing's market watchdog ( $333.4 million) for allegedly falsifying his income, among other violations.

Stocks were mixed elsewhere in Asia and Europe.

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AP Business writers Matt Ott and Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

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