Stock futures point to a positive open as traders brace for Fed decision

Wall Street

All eyes on the Fed

U.S. stock futures were modestly higher Wednesday, implying Wall Street would open in the green territory, as traders waited for the Federal Reserve to announce its decision on interest rates.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kicked off its two-day meeting on monetary policy in Washington on Tuesday, with a decision due out at 2 p.m. ET today. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is also scheduled to hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Fed funds futures, used by investors and traders to make bets on monetary policy decisions, are predicting a 99.1% likelihood of a 50-basis-point hike, which would move the Fed’s benchmark interest rate to 0.75-1.00%.

As of 5 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 86 points, or 0.26% to 33,119. S&P 500 futures added 12.5 points, or 0.3% to 4,181.75 while the tech-dominated Nasdaq 100 jumped 31 points, or 0.24% to 13,11.50.

Crude futures soar as EU announces plans to ban Russian oil

In energy markets, crude futures rocketed after European Union members spelled out plans to ban imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday called on EU nations to completely ban Russian crude oil and refined products within six months.

The plan, which is meant to punish and put pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, will have to be approved by EU’s 27 member nations.

As of 5 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rallied $3.48, or 3.4% to $105.89 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures gained $3.4%, or $3.24% to $108.37 a barrel.

Lyft slumps 25% on disappointing guidance

Shares of Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) skidded in Wednesday’s premarket trading session after the company issued a weak outlook for its fiscal second-quarter.

Lyft reported late Tuesday fiscal first-quarter net loss of $196.9 million, or 57 cents per share, down from $427.3 million, or $1.31 per share, in the same period last year.

On an adjusted basis, the ride-hailing giant earned $24.6 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with an adjusted loss of 35 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $875.6 million from $609 million. Analysts had called for an adjusted loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $848.9 million, according to data compiled by FactSet.

For the current quarter, the company forecast revenue of $950 million to $1 billion, undershooting Wall Street’s average estimate of $1.02 billion in revenue.

Shares plunged 25.78% to $22.83 apiece in the premarket trading session.

Elon Musk reportedly plans to take Twitter public again in a few years

Meanwhile, Elon Musk has told potential investors that he could take Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) public again in just a few years, after he recently agreed to acquire the social-media company in a $44 billion deal.

Musk plans to stage another Twitter IPO in as little as three years of buying it, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Last month, Twitter’s board of directors accepted the Musk’s offer to buy all outstanding shares of the company for $54.20 each after a weekslong saga that captivated Wall Street.

Musk and Twitter are expected to close the deal later this year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Twitter went public in November 2013, and closed its first trading day at $44.94.

The stock was marked 12 cents, or 0.25% lower to $48.75 per share in premarket hours.