Fed to announce policy decision at 2 pm
U.S. stock futures were trading lower early Wednesday as market participants awaited a policy decision by the Federal Reserve due later in the day.
In its first meeting in 2021, the central bank left its benchmark rate in the range of zero to 0.25% and maintained its $120 billion monthly pace of bond purchase.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks today could begin to clarify how long policymakers intend to keep rates near zero amid increasing inflation worries.
By 5:40 a.m. ET, Dow futures were indicated 56.5 points, or 0.17% lower to 33,826.5. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gave away 27 points, or 0.19% to 13,926 while S&P 500 futures were flat.
Biden to unveil $1.8 trillion American Families Plan
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is expected to use his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night to unveil a $1.8 trillion proposal that aims to facilitate tuition-free community college, child care, medical leave, paid family, and several other initiatives.
The proposal, dubbed American Family Plan, will be partly paid for by hiking taxes on profits made from shares and other investments such as property owned by individuals making more than $1 million a year.
It comes on top of his already passed $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus package and the proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill.
Microsoft, Alphabet post upbeat earnings
On the earnings front, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Tuesday afternoon reported strong quarterly earnings with both posting increased revenue from their cloud computing services.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported revenue of $55.3 billion in the first quarter, topping expectations of $51.7 billion. Earnings came in at $26.29 per share, beating estimates of $15.88 per share.
Microsoft booked third-quarter revenue of $41.7 billion, beating estimates of $41 billion. The company earned $1.95 per share, well above expectations of $1.78 per share.
Apple, Facebook, Qualcomm to report after the closing bell
Apple is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.99 per share and revenue of $77.35 billion after the closing bell. Facebook is seen reporting earnings of $2.37 per share on revenue of $23.67 billion after the close.