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US stocks extend gains ahead of Fed meeting

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange

New York, Dec 12 (UITV/IANS)- US stocks rallied on Monday, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 closing at record highs, as Wall Street awaited the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56.87 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 24,386.03. The S&P 500 added 8.49 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 2,655.99, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 35.00 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 6,875.08.

Investors kept a close eye on the Fed's policy meeting, with an updated policy statement set to be released after the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday.

The central bank is widely expected to deliver its third interest-rate hike for 2017. According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, market expectations for a Fed rate hike in December already stood at 100 per cent.

On the economic front, the number of job openings was little changed at 6.0 million on the last business day of October, the US Labor Department reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, investors were still sifting through the country's jobs data for November.

The US Labor Department reported on Friday that total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, beating market consensus of a 190,000-gain. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 per cent.