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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks climbed early Wednesday ahead of a Federal Reserve decision on raising interest rates and following a stream of earnings reports that left investors sighing in relief.

Boeing, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet all reported lower earnings amid a slowing economy mired in high inflation. Yet shares of all three companies advanced.

“The takeaway for many apparently is that their results and/or guidance was better than feared,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Meanwhile, a surge in new orders for US military aircraft in June drove a surprise increase in demand for big-ticket manufactured goods, according to government data that points to solid demand despite inflation.

About 15 minutes into the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent at 31,895.04.

Wall Street falls as Walmart warning rattles retail stocks

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.1 percent to 3,964.65, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.1 percent to 11,802.24.

The Fed is expected to announce another three-quarter-point increase in the benchmark borrowing rate when its two-day policy meeting concludes at 1800 GMT, its latest effort to rein in soaring inflation.

O’Hare predicted stocks will take their cues from the tone set by Fed Chair Jerome Powell regarding the plan for subsequent meetings.

“There is a growing belief that the (Fed) will take a step down in September and raise rates by ‘only’ 50 basis points,” O’Hare said. “Accordingly, it could become a source of upset for the market if Fed Chair Powell sounds a more hawkish-minded note.”

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