Stocks Opened Slightly Higher as Fed Prepared to Meet

U.S. stocks opened marginally higher on Wednesday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve’s anticipated two-day meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 15.83 points, or 0.10%, to 16,615.68. The S&P 500 gained 1.82 points, or 0.09%, to 1,979.91. The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.01 points, or 0.10%, to 4,855.51.

U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly fell in August as gasoline prices resumed their decline and a strong dollar curbed the cost of other goods, pointing to tame inflation that complicates the Federal Reserve’s decision whether to hike interest rates. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index slipped 0.1 percent last month, the first decline since January, after edging up 0.1 percent in July.

Citigroup Inc. Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said third-quarter trading revenue will decline from a year earlier amid increased volatility. Citigroup recorded $3.74 billion in revenue from trading stocks and bonds last year in the third quarter, with fixed-income contributing $2.98 billion and equities adding $763 million.

Oil rose on Wednesday after an unexpected drawdown in U.S. stockpiles and an increase in U.S. gasoline prices. Brent crude for November was up 68 cents at $48.43 a barrel. The Brent October contract expired on Tuesday.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) said it plans to lose 25,000 to 30,000 employees from its enterprise unit in line with its effort to reduce annual costs by $2.7 billion.

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