Stocks rise to record highs

The Dow Jones Industrials got closer to hitting the psychologically key 20,000 mark one day ahead of a closely watched Fed meeting on interest rates.

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Tech stocks led the big market indexes to all-time highs on Tuesday (Dec 13).

The Dow Jones Industrial is getting closer to the psychologically key 20,000 mark, with investors buying stocks one day ahead of a closely watched Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.

US Bank's Eric Wiegand sees the central bank lifting rates Wednesday.

"This week, we're expecting 25 basis points, a quarter of one per cent. For next year, we're still of the opinion that it'll be a two rate increase environment. Like investors, the Federal Reserve, we expect, will continue to be very anxious to get a sense of what actual policy is from the incoming administration and what type of magnitude the fiscal stimulus will be," said Wiegand.

JetBlue Airways shares soared, after the discount airline said on Tuesday it will double the amount of shares it would buy back. On Monday, JetBlue said it sees a key revenue metric falling less than it had forecast.

VeriFone Systems stock shot higher, reversing course after several brokerages cut their price targets on the payment card machine maker's shares. Analysts were concerned by the slow adoption of its new point-of-sale devices for card transactions.

Exxon Mobil shares rose even though the energy company may lose its CEO Rex Tillerson, who President-elect Donald Trump named as his pick for Secretary of State.

In Europe, a rally by Italy's biggest bank UniCredit spurred stocks higher.