Stock markets move higher while awaiting key decisions

NEW YORK — Investors spent Tuesday preparing for two events sure to move markets this week: a Federal Reserve meeting and a court decision on whether Germany can help support its struggling neighbors. And if the stock market’s gains Tuesday are any sign, they expect both events to turn out well.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.07 points to close at 13,323.36. The average of 30 large company stocks has already gained 1.8 percent to start September, a month that is usually dismal for stocks. Bank of America led the 30 stocks in the Dow, rising 5 percent, or 45 cents, to $9.03.

Federal Reserve officials will gather for a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Many expect the Fed will announce a new effort to revive the sluggish economy on Thursday.

On the same day the Fed starts its meeting, Germany’s high court is expected to rule on whether the country can participate in a European bailout fund. The court rejected a last-minute appeal to delay the decision on Tuesday.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.48 points to 1,433.56. The Nasdaq composite increased 0.51 of a point to 3,104.53.

 

Debt rescuers need to give Greece a break, leader says

ATHENS, Greece — Greece President Karolos Papoulias urged rescue creditors Tuesday to ease demands for more austerity, as debt inspectors reportedly pressed the government for tougher concessions on benefits and labor rights.

“Up until now, we’ve been receiving a merciless lashing,” Papoulias told a delegation of visiting Canadian officials. “I think we have paid enough for our mistakes, and Europe must realize that it needs to help Greece.”

The debt-crippled country is struggling to come up with promised cuts worth (euro) 11.5 billion ($14.7 billion) for 2013-14, needed for continued rescue loan payments from eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece has been surviving on emergency loans for more than two years, but the resulting economic austerity has triggered a dramatic rise in poverty and unemployment, with the jobless rate in June reaching 24.4 percent.