Wall St gains amid Fed watch

Strength in technology stocks helps overcome uncertainty on upcoming United States Federal Reserve statement.

United States stocks have closed higher amid greater investor confidence that the US economy could withstand an expected reduction of Federal Reserve bond purchases.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average put on 35.33 (0.23%) at 15,530.11 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 7.27 (0.43%) at 1,704.87 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 27.85 (0.75%) to 3,745.83 points.

A two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to conclude Wednesday with a statement and news conference with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. Most market watchers expect the Fed to scale back the Fed's $85 billion per month bond-buying program.

The market expects the Fed to reduce the program by $10-$15 billion, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.

A larger taper "might cause a little bit of market weakness," Mr James said. "Anything else is priced in."

"People are getting more comfortable with the Fed taking their foot off the pedal," Mr James said. "We're not expanding at a fantastic rate, but we're doing okay."

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