Stocks Set For Higher Open As Investors Await Fed Decision


Stocks poised to open higher

U.S stock index futures pointed to a positive open on Wednesday as investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy decision due later in the day.

At 6:12 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow pointed to a gain of 75 points, or 0.28% to 26,659. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq were up 53.88 points, or 0.69% to 7,853.88 while those on the S&P 500 traded 8.88 points, or 0.30% higher to 2,957.38.

Companies reporting earnings before the opening bell include Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS), Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE: JCI), Automatic Data Processing, Inc (NASDAQ: ADP).

QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), which is scheduled to release earnings after the close, was up 1% in premarket trading. Prudential Financial, Inc (NYSE: PRU), and MetLife, Inc (NYSE: MET) will also report after the closing bell.

FED decision day

Investors are keenly awaiting the conclusion of an all-important meeting of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) today. Economists believe the central bank is likely to leave its current policy rate unchanged.

In addition, they are expecting that Fed chair Jerome Powell will likely maintain his patient approach stance. The recent gross domestic product numbers (GDP) could provide enough catalyst for the Fed to remain firm on its current stance.

Trade talks conclude in Beijing

U.S. and Chinese officials have wrapped up their latest round of trade negotiations in Beijing. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described the meetings as “productive” on Twitter.

China Vice Premier Liu He is expected to travel to Washington next week for another round of discussions in what is likely to be the end game for talks.

Facebook announces major facelift

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) announced late Tuesday that sweeping changes are coming to the social media network in the future. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will highlight events and groups, creating a more personalized feed from the groups users have joined and a prominent groups tab.

Shares of Facebook traded 0.64% higher to $$194.64 in pre-market hours on Wednesday.

Judge approves Elon Musk, SEC deal

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan on Tuesday approved a new deal clarifying what types of statements by Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk must be reviewed by the company’s legal counsel before publication on his social media accounts.

The deal means Mr. Musk is no longer likely to be held in contempt for violating a previous settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Tesla shares were down 0.35% to $237.85 in pre-market trade on Wednesday.