US stocks open week higher ahead of Fed meeting

NEW YORK (AFP/APP): Wall Street stocks edged higher from five-month highs early Monday ahead of a Federal Reserve interest rate decision later this week.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat at 25,845.90.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.3 percent at 2,830.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 7,712.75.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended last week at their highest level since October 9.

After a bruising conclusion to 2018, US stocks have spent much of the first quarter pushing higher amid expectations for a US-China trade deal and dovish commentary from the Fed.

The Fed will have another opportunity to weigh in on Wednesday following a meeting that is expected to keep interest rates unchanged and could lower forecasts for rate increases in 2019.

Among individual companies, Boeing dropped 2.7 percent as scrutiny builds over its 737 MAX aircraft that was grounded globally last week following a second deadly crash in less than five months.