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European stocks up... Asian markets volatile... Fed opens 2-day meeting

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TOKYO (AP) — European stocks were higher today, after sharp losses the previous day, while Asian markets were patchy in a sign of volatile trading ahead of Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan policy meetings. In New York, trading ended with modest gains yesterday after a mostly indecisive day. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 103.29 points, while the S&P 500 index gained 9.57 points. The Nasdaq composite index added 18.76 points.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve opens a two-day meeting that's almost certain to lead to an increase in interest rates. Investors and analysts agree that an interest rate hike will be announced at the conclusion of the meeting in Washington tomorrow. The uncertainty hinges on what the Fed will say about how much and how fast it expects to raise rates again in coming months.

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House and congressional negotiators are trading final offers over U.S. oil exports and concessions for home-state interests. The two sides are moving toward wrapping up a tax and spending deal that would cap Congress' year.

TOKYO (AP) — General Electric Co. is selling its Japan commercial lending business to Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing for about $4.8 billion. The deal, to be concluded by April next year, marks the withdrawal of GE Capital from Japan, except for a minor joint venture.

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle has become the first city in the nation to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions. The legislation is seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce. The companies strongly oppose it and are expected to challenge it in court.

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