Stocks Ended Higher, Eyed on Fed Meeting

U. S. stocks rose but ended off their highs on Monday as investors focused on this week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve and what light it may shed on the path of monetary policy. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 109.67 points, or 0.73 percent, at 15,179.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 12.31 points, or 0.76 percent, at 1,639.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 28.57 points, or 0.83 percent, at 3,452.13.

Heading into Wednesday’s critical Fed announcement and Bernanke press conference the investing world is poised to freak out in general over modifications to the existing quantitative easing program.

The majority of homebuilders view conditions in the industry as favorable for the first time since the start of the housing crisis seven years ago, with an industry report showing confidence in the sector surged in June. The
National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market index surged to 52 in June from 44 in May, handily topping forecasts for 45. It was the biggest one-month gain since 2002.

Detroit’s default and debt-restructuring plan are precedent-setting in the U.S. municipal market, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday, because the city is looking to bondholders, as well as labor unions and pensioners, to share the pain.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) is set to win unconditional EU approval for its $8.2 billion bid for NYSE Euronext, sources said on Monday, in a deal that would strengthen its presence in the lucrative derivatives trading business.

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