US STOCKS-Wall St climbs ahead of Fed decision
* Consumer inflation posts largest decline in six years
* FedEx shares fall after earnings, drags transports
* Indexes up: Dow 0.52 pct, S&P 0.65 pct, Nasdaq 0.54 pct (Updates to market open)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher shortly after the open on Wednesday, following a three-session losing streak for major Wall Street indexes, as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve's final statement of the year that may set the stage for interest rate hikes in 2015.
A strengthening U.S. economy is expected to trump global economic worries and the Fed is likely to signal it is still on track to raise rates.
U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in nearly six years in November as gasoline prices tumbled, but this probably will do little to change views the Fed will start raising interest rates in mid-2015.
"I do think they will take in consideration slow global economic activity and perhaps mention the threat of deflation in Europe," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
"If there isn't a change in language, that would be the surprise," he said, adding that as the U.S. economy continues to strengthen and lower oil prices give a boost to the consumer "the year-end rally in stocks will resume." Continuación...