U.S. stocks advanced, after equities’ biggest gain in two weeks, amid better-than-estimated results from Gilead Sciences Inc. to General Dynamics Corp. before the Federal Reserve’s decision on monetary policy.
Gilead gained 3.3 percent as quarterly results exceeded estimates and it raised its sales forecast. General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman Corp. jumped more than 4.7 percent after the defense contractors lifted their profit outlooks. Twitter tumbled 13 percent as its top executives struck a critical tone on user growth. Akamai Technologies Inc. lost 5.1 percent after earnings missed expectations.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.5 percent to 2,103.28 at 12:10 p.m. in New York, above its average price during the past 50 days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 98.21 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,728.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 percent.
Investors are awaiting the Fed’s policy statement for signs on when it will move to raise borrowing costs. Economists forecast the central bank will hold rates steady in a decision at 2 p.m. in Washington. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has emphasized that the timing of rate liftoff is less important than the subsequent pace of increases, which she said would be gradual.