The stock markets in the United States ended the trading session higher today. The NASDAQ recorded the most gains and recovered nearly all of its losses yesterday.

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Investors continue to speculate on the potential schedule when the Federal Reserve would increase the interest rates. Many anticipate the Department of Labor would report that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits was lesser this week. They also expected improvement on retail sales and consumer confidence, which strengthens the case for policy makers to implement an interest rate hike next year.

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Dan Veru, chief investment officer at Palisade Capital Management commented, “The concern of the day is whether the Federal Reserve changes its timing of interest-rate moves to the upside. It’s pointless to try and figure out when interest rates will go higher. You just position yourself for when that day will come.”

The Federal Reserve is monitoring the strength of the economy as it reduces the amount of its bond-buying program and contemplates on increasing the interest rates. The next meeting of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) is scheduled on September 16-17.

U.S. Markets

• Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 17,068.71 (+0.32%)
• S&P 500- 1,995.69 (+0.36%)
• NASDAQ- 4,586.52 (+0.75%)
• Russell 2000- 1,164.99 (+0.56%)

European Markets

• EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,244.16 (-0.04%)
• FTSE 100 Index- 6,830.11 (+0.02%)
• Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,700.15 (-0.11%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

• Nikkei 225- 15,788.78 (+0.25%)
• Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,705.36 (-1.93%)
• Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,432.43 (-0.52%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) climbed more than 3% to $101 per share. Yesterday, the Cupertino-based tech giant launched its two-larger screen iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus, the Apple Watch, a mobile-payment system called Apple Pay and health applications. Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. LLC commented, “Everybody has been watching Apple. It’s an Apple-dominated market, especially in a week where we don’t have a lot of macro data coming out.”

The shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) surged almost 10% to $98.20 per share after the company outstanding fourth quarter earnings results. The company said its adjusted earnings were $0.11 per share, up from $0.07 per share in the same period last year.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) gained more than 4% to $52.91 per share after UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) upgraded their rating to Buy from Neutral. They also raised their price target for the stock from $50 to %65 per share. The firm said Twitter has positive momentum with objective-based campaigns based on their advertising channel checks.