US Stocks Solidly Higher Before Fed

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are solidly higher early Wednesday after strong earnings from the likes of Google's owner Alphabet, Boeing and Microsoft lifted investors' mood. Wall Street is also waiting to hear from the Federal Reserve, which will likely raise interest rates at the end of its two-day meeting.

The S&P 500 index was up 1.3% as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 2.5%.

Boeing shares rose 3% after the aerospace company delivered more planes in the first quarter than it has since the start of the pandemic. Shares of technology heavyweights Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet were both up more than 4% after their latest quarterly reports.

Investors will get quarterly results from Ford Motor Co. as well as Facebook's parent company Meta Platforms after the closing bell.

The Fed on Wednesday is expected to announce an increase of up to three-quarters of a percentage point in its benchmark interest rate, triple the usual size. Investors worry such aggressive action by the Fed and other central banks in Europe and Asia to control soaring inflation might derail global economic growth.

Inflation has been at the forefront of investors' minds this year. Markets were spooked Monday after retail giant Walmart warned that its profits are being hurt by rising prices for food and gas, which are forcing shoppers to cut back on more profitable discretionary items such as clothing.

The retailer's profit warning in the middle of the quarter is rare and raised worries about how the highest inflation in 40 years is affecting the entire retail sector.