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Dow opens modestly higher Wednesday as stock-market investors await Fed policy update

U.S. stock benchmarks opened modestly higher early Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's latest views on economic growth and inflation prospects. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% at 28,084, the S&P 500 index gained 0.3% at 3,412, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.2% at 11,219. Investors are weighing the prospect of continued support from the Fed against further delays to a fiscal spending package expected from lawmakers. While the Fed isn't expected to change interest rates Wednesday, policy makers may revise closely watched economic and inflation projections. The Fed will release its statement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a news conference a half-hour later. In economic reports, a report on retail sales for August showed an increase of 0.6%, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.7% increase. In corporate news, Boeing Co. shares are in focus after the House Transportation Committee released an investigative report that blamed the aeronautics and defense contractor for deficiencies that helped lead to problems with its 737 MAX fleet of planes.

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