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Dec 12, 12:01 PM EST

Markets Right Now: Banks, health care lead stocks higher


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The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

11:45 a.m.

Banks are leading U.S. stocks higher in midday trading as the Federal Reserve meets to discuss interest rates and the economy.

The central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the third time this year on Wednesday. Health care stocks were also higher Tuesday.

Wells Fargo rose 1.6 percent and Johnson & Johnson rose 1.5 percent.

Utilities were the only laggard among the 11 sectors in the S&P 500 index.

Crude oil prices headed lower. Bitcoin futures slipped on their second day of trading.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,667.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 130 points, or 0.5 percent, to 24,514. The Nasdaq composite edged up 5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,881.

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9:35 a.m.

Banks and health care companies were leading stock indexes slightly higher in morning trading on Wall Street, leading major indexes above the record highs they reached a day earlier.

Technology companies lagged the market early Tuesday, leaving the Nasdaq slightly lower.

HCA Healthcare rose 2.5 percent, while Boeing rose 2.4 percent after announcing a big stock buyback.

Cable TV and entertainment company Comcast rose 2.3 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported it was no longer in talks to buy parts of 21st Century Fox.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a fraction to 2,660.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 104 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,456. The Nasdaq slipped 11 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,863.

Bitcoin futures slipped 2.4 percent on their second day of trading.

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