Stocks Opened Slightly Higher, Eyed on Fed

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday as investors focused on the Federal Reserve’s much anticipated two-day policy meeting this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 30.73 points, or 0.19%, to 16,401.69. The S&P 500 gained 2.99 points, or 0.15%, to 1,956.02. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.77 points, or 0.04%, to 4,807.54.

U.S. consumer spending appeared to grow at a fairly healthy pace halfway through the third quarter, pointing to solid domestic demand that could persuade a cautious Federal Reserve to hike interest rates on Thursday. The Commerce Department said retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services increased 0.4 percent in August after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in July.

One month after tumbling sharply, business conditions in the New York region showed no signs of stabilizing in September, the New York Fed said Tuesday. The Empire State manufacturing index for September remained very weak, inching up to negative 14.7 from negative 14.9 in August, which was the lowest level since 2009.

Target Corp. is teaming up with Instacart Inc. to offer same-day delivery of groceries and household items for $3.99 in its hometown of Minneapolis as the big-box retailer rolls out an alternative to online rival Amazon.

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