Stocks higher a day ahead of Fed meeting

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, a day ahead of the start of a crucial Federal Reserve policy meeting. Fed policymakers will convene a two-day meeting on Wednesday and could decide to raise interest rates for the first time in close to a decade. Energy stocks rose more than the rest of the market as the price of crude oil moved higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 177 points, or 1.1%, to 16,548 as of 1:06 p.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 18 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,971. The Nasdaq composite rose 36 points, or 0.75 percent, to 4,842.

The stock market has recovered some of the ground that it lost in August and early September, but is still down from its peak of the year as traders and investors fret about the possible impact of slower growth in China and other emerging markets. The S&P 500 is down 7.5 percent from its record close set in May.

Americans stepped up their spending on cars, restaurant meals, groceries and clothing in August. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that retail sales rose 0.2 percent last month, after advancing 0.7 percent in July. The increase was slightly less than economists had forecast.

Investors are looking ahead to the Federal Open Market Committee meeting this Thursday.