* Facebook shares down as expenses seen rising
* Orbital Sciences falls after rocket explosion
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct (Updates to morning trading)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday boosted by gains in the energy sector, with traders looking forward to a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve as it winds down its stimulus program.
The Nasdaq Composite was pressured by a decline in Facebook shares as investors fretted over its spending plans.
In an otherwise data-light session, the Fed is likely to announce that it will no longer add to its holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, effectively ending a program that at its peak pumped $85 billion a month into the financial system.
The Fed’s cash injection is widely seen as a pillar of the current multiyear bull market in equities, and earnings are expected to support any further advances. So far this reporting season, 73.5 percent of S&P 500 companies have exceeded profit expectations. In a typical quarter since 1994, 63 percent of companies beat estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“Everybody is looking ahead to the FOMC statement in the afternoon. I’d expect we won’t have a lot of movement before that,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
“Not a lot is expected other than a confirmation that they eliminated QE and maybe we’ll get additional guidance, hints on when they might start raising rates.”
Facebook Inc shares fell 6.2 percent to $75.81 the day after the social network announced an increase in spending in 2015 and projected a slowdown in revenue growth this quarter.
At 10:03 a.m. EDT (1403 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average rose 48.03 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,053.78, the S&P 500 gained 4.91 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,989.96 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.18 points, or 0.11 percent, to 4,559.11.
The energy sector of the S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent as crude oil futures prices jumped, adding to a rebound that has lifted energy stocks 8.5 percent in the past 11 sessions. Earlier this month, the sector touched a 16-month low. The top four points gainers on the S&P 500 were energy companies.
Hershey Co shares fell 2.8 percent to $92.88 after the chocolate maker cut its full-year earnings and revenue growth forecasts, citing higher dairy prices, a stronger dollar and weak sales growth in some markets.
Shares of American Realty Capital slid 24 percent to $9.40 after it said some of its previous financial statements were unreliable.
Orbital Sciences Corp shares fell 14.4 percent to $26 a day after its unmanned rocket exploded seconds after liftoff from a commercial launch pad in Virginia, marking the first accident since NASA turned to private operators to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,810 to 1,012, for a 1.79-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,311 issues rose and 996 fell for a 1.32-to-1 ratio.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 61 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 89 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Nick Zieminski)