NEW YORK — Stocks moved higher in early trading Wednesday, led by gains in technology stocks after Apple soared on a strong earnings report. Investors are looking ahead to a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve, which wraps up a two-day policy meeting later in the day.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,525 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,171 and the Nasdaq composite rose 29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,138.
EARNINGS BEAT: Apple soared $7.31, or 7.6 percent, to $103.99 in early trading. While the company reported lower revenue and iPhone sales, it still earned $10.5 billion last quarter, well above analysts' estimates. Apple had been one of the biggest drags on the market this year as investors became concerned that its years of massive growth were coming to an end. Apple nearly erased its loss for the year.
PLUCKED: Twitter plunged $2.21, or 12 percent, to $16.25. The social media company reported another loss and user adoption rates continue to slow. Roughly 313 million people regularly used Twitter last quarter, a fraction of the 1.6 billion people who use Facebook regularly.
FED WATCH: The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release its latest monetary policy statement later Wednesday. While analysts expect the Fed to stand pat on interest rates, they did say recently that the strength in U.S. economic data coupled with the recovery of investor sentiment since Britain's vote to leave the European Union have revived the possibility of a rate increase later this year.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 13 cents to $43.05 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 18 cents to $44.69 a barrel in London.
BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.55 percent from 1.56 percent. The dollar rose to 105.77 yen from 104.63 yen and the euro rose to $1.1002 from $1.0986.