Stocks are higher ahead of the Fed (SPY, DJI, IXIC, USO, WTI, OIL, VDE, BNO, TWTR, YELP, MA)

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Stocks are slightly higher on Wednesday morning after a strong finish on Tuesday ended five down days, and ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy statement.

Near 10:21 a.m. ET, the Dow was up 55 points, the S&P 500 was up 5 points, and the Nasdaq was up 4 points.

In economic data, pending home sales unexpecdedly fell 1.8% month-on-month in June. Sales are still near nine-year highs.

The market event everyone is anticipating today is the Fed’s monetary policy statement at 2:00 p.m., which won’t be accompanied by staff economic projections or followed by a press conference.

Many economists say it will be comparably a non-event, with the Fed reiterating its data-dependent stance. However, the statement will be parsed for any clues the Fed gives on its readiness to raise interest rates.

In a morning note to clients, Bank of America Merril Lynch wrote: “With the data more mixed since the June meeting, we expect a cautiously optimistic if non-committal message that should put the likelihood of a September hike around 50% — slightly above current market expectations, but not a strong enough signal for a major repricing to occur.”

Ahead of that statement, the dollar index was unchanged near 96.78. Treasuries were weaker, with the benchmark 10-year yield up two basis points at 2.275%. 

Twitter shares are getting crushed, down more than 13%, after slumping in after-hours trading yesterday. The company reported profits ahead of estimates. But at the same time, interim CEO Jack Dorsey said “we do not expect to see sustained meaningful growth in [monthly active users] until we start to reach the mass market.” Shares plunged 10% ahead of the open.

Yelp is also getting smoked, down 28%, after the company slashed full-year earnings forecasts.

MasterCard shares fell 3% after an earnings miss, as the company continues to grapple with foreign currency movements and the strong dollar.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

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