US STOCKS-Wall St climbs with energy shares; Fed decision ahead

miércoles 17 de diciembre de 2014 14:23 GYT

* Fed statement due at 2 p.m.

* FedEx shares fall after earnings

* Indexes up: Dow 0.9 pct, S&P 1.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.8 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed in early afternoon trading on Wednesday as energy sector shares surged more than 4 percent, though investors were preparing for a Federal Reserve statement that may set the stage for interest rate hikes in 2015.

If the market ends higher, it would break a three-day streak of losses.

A strengthening U.S. economy is expected to trump global economic worries for the Fed, which is likely to signal it is still on track to raise rates. Many investors were devoting attention to whether the central bank drops its longstanding view that it would wait a "considerable time" before raising rates.

"Volatility should be expected after the statement because so much is riding on two words, which in some respects speaks to the dysfunction of the market," said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York. "But that said, markets have an enormous amount of confidence in the Fed and the Fed's ability to navigate through troubled waters."

The S&P energy sector, which has fallen sharply with the heavy selloff in oil prices since June, was up 4.3 percent, leading gains on the benchmark index.   Continuación...