The Fed's policy makers conclude a two-day meeting Wednesday afternoon. Investors are poised to hear whether or not the Fed will slow its $85 billion per month asset purchasing program, which has provided liquidity in financial markets and suppressed long-term borrowing rates.
Market movement is generally muted before a Fed announcement. Investors have been anticipating a Fed decision to slow purchases for weeks, although lately stocks have headed higher.
Early in the day, the Labor Department said inflation had held to 0.1 percent from July to August. Core prices, which exclude the volatile categories of food and energy, also rose 0.1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 34.95 points or 0.23 percent to close at 15,529.73 Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 7.16 points or 0.42 percent to 1,704.76. The Nasdaq composite index added 27.85 points or 0.75 percent to 3,745.70.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,065 stocks advanced and 1,010 declined on a volume of 2.7 billion shares traded.
Ten-year U.S. treasuries rose 4/34 to yield 2.851 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3357, while the dollar rose to 99.14 yen.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index shed 93 points, 0.65 percent, to 14,311.67.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 index gave up 0.8 percent or 52.69 points to close at 6,6570.17.
Gold lost $7.60 or 0.5 percent on the Comex division of the NYMEX, to settle at $1,310.30 per troy ounce. Silver lost 24.9 cents to $21.76 per ounce, off 1.13 percent.
In late trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil shed $1.06 or 0.99 percent to $105.53 per barrel.