Stocks Opened Higher ahead of Fed Announcement

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday as investors braced for the Federal Reserve’s announcement on interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 37.38 points, or 0.21%, to 17,618.81. The S&P 500 added 3.74 points, or 0.18%, to 2,069.63. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.71 points, or 0.01%, to 5,030.86. Inc., which has quickly built a network of on-demand workers for its one-hour delivery service, now faces a lawsuit over how those workers are treated. The suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court on behalf of four couriers, seeks back wages and compensation for expenses like fuel and workers’ compensation insurance.

Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O) said on Tuesday it would acquire smaller peer Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) for $9.4 billion to widen its footprint in the United States and negotiate for lower drug costs. Walgreens earned $26 million, or 2 cents per share, for the period ended Aug. 31. That compares with loss of $221 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago.

Hershey Co. on Wednesday said its third-quarter earnings fell 31%, dragged down by restructuring charges, and the chocolate company reduced its sales outlook for the year. In all for the third quarter, Hershey reported a quarterly profit of $154.8 million, or 70 cents a share, down from $223.7 million, or $1.00 a share, a year earlier. Sales were flat at $1.96 billion.

The Pentagon awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) a huge contract to build new long-range bombers for the U.S. Air Force after the market close on Tuesday. Northrop reported a 9 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to $516 million, or $2.75 per diluted share, from $473 million, or $2.26 per share a year earlier. Revenues edged up to $5.99 billion from $5.98 billion.

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