NEW YORK (AP) — Investors drove the Dow Jones industrial average to an all-time high Tuesday on expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep its economic stimulus program in place.
The Dow rose 111.42 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,680.35. The Dow also got a big boost from IBM, which announced that it would buy $15 billion more of its own stock.
The Fed is in the middle of a two-day policy meeting at which it's expected to maintain its $85 billion worth of bond purchases every month. That program is aimed at stimulating economic growth by keeping borrowing rates very low. The Fed will announce its decision Wednesday afternoon.
"The expectation that the Fed remains clearly on hold is the catalyst for this march higher," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial.
IBM rose $4.77, or 2.7 percent, to $181.12, accounting for about a quarter of the Dow's gain.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 9.84 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,771.95, its seventh record high this month.
About half the companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings for the third quarter. So far, most are doing better than investors expected. Companies in the index are forecast to log third-quarter earnings growth of 4.5 percent, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.
On Tuesday, Harris, a communications and information technology company, rose $3.36, or 5.7 percent, to $62.76 after bouncing back from a loss in the same period a year ago and posting a profit, despite a decline in government spending. Pfizer rose 51 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $31.25 after its earnings exceeded analysts' expectations.