North American stocks were up modestly in midday trading on Wednesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement in the early afternoon.
At noon, the S&P 500 was up 3 points or 0.2 per cent, to 1430. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average was up 7 points or less than 0.1 per cent, to 13,256. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 37 points or 0.3 per cent, to 12,319.
Within the S&P 500, financials rose 0.8 per cent and telecom stocks rose 0.6 per cent. Tech stocks and consumer staples fell 0.2 per cent each.
Berkshire Hathaway rose 2.4 per cent after it announced it was buying back $1.2-billion (U.S.) of its own shares, signalling that Warren Buffett sees value close to home these days. The company also raised the value at which it would make future buybacks, to 120 per cent of book value from 110 per cent.
Within Canada’s benchmark index, materials rose 0.7 per cent and financials rose 0.4 per cent. Energy stocks fell 0.1 per cent.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.3 per cent.