NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were rising on Tuesday with markets reacting to wavering expectations over the language the Federal Reserve will use Wednesday to describe its future interest rate policy.
Major indexes hit session highs in early afternoon, with participants citing a report in the Wall Street Journal as an indication the Fed would be if not dovish, at least less hawkish than some expect.
"Investors are getting squirrelly going into tomorrow's meeting, which we believe is unwarranted," said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
"Any kind of indication via news sources of a more dovish Fed would bode well for risk markets."
The Fed will leave the language mostly intact in the policy statement due Wednesday, the WSJ reported, cutting into expectations of a timeline for rate hikes that could come in sooner than many have expected.
The U.S. dollar weakened against the euro and yen on the report.
The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 101.61 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,132.75, the S&P 500 was gaining 14.21 points, or 0.72 percent, to 1,998.34 and the Nasdaq Composite was adding 22.17 points, or 0.49 percent, to 4,541.07.
Energy shares continued to lead the market higher as crude prices rose, but utilities, a proxy for investor appetite for dividend payers, were also moving sharply higher.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was Glimcher Realty, rising 30.26 percent after Washington Prime announced the purchase of Glimcher for $4.3 billion. The largest percentage decliner was Atlantic Power , down 32.55 percent after it said it would replace its CEO and slash its dividend.
Besides Glimcher, among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Bank of America, down 0.12 percent to $16.72, and Petrobras, up 8.52 percent to $17.95.
On the Nasdaq, Apple, down 1.3 percent to $100.28; Yahoo, down 0.1 percent to $42.50; and Facebook, up 1.4 percent to $75.63, were among the most actively traded.
Advancing issues were outnumbering declining ones on the NYSE by 1,910 to 1,057, for a 1.81-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,339 issues were rising and 1,263 falling for a 1.06-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The broad S&P 500 index was posting 12 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 18 new highs and 79 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)