U.S. stock markets expected to open higher ahead of Fed minutes


Fed minutes in focus

U.S. stocks futures were pointing to a positive start for Wall Street on Wednesday as traders wait for the latest news from the Federal Reserve.

As of 5 a.m. ET, Dow futures rose 11 points, or 0.03% to 31,891. S&P 500 futures gained 4.25 points, or 0.11% to 3,944.75 while the tech-focused Nasdaq 100 futures added 27 points, or 0.23% to 11,798.

Traders are waiting for the release of minutes later in the day of the Federal Reserve’s May 3-4 policy meeting. The Fed hiked interest rates at the conclusion of the meeting, with all nine FOMC members voting in favor of the 50 bps increase.

These minutes are expected to offer more clues on how Fed policymakers plan to continue tightening as they attempt to control the red-hot inflation and spur growth.

Nvidia earnings on tap

Traders are also keeping a close eye on Nvidia (NVDA), which is scheduled to report its first-quarter fiscal 2023 results after the closing bell.

Nvidia, maker of gaming graphics processing units (GPUs), is expected to report earnings of $1.29 per share on revenue of $8.12 billion.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is also scheduled to release its financial results today. Analysts expect the retailer to post earnings of $2.88 per share on revenue of $1.81 billion.

Other major earnings to watch today include Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Guess (GES), Snowflake (SNOW), and Express (EXPR).

Gun stocks rise after Texas elementary school shooting

Meanwhile, stocks of publicly traded gun companies jumped in the premarket trading session on Wednesday, in the wake of a mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

At least 19 children and two teachers lost their lives Tuesday when 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School. The gunman, identified as Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement.

It is the deadliest elementary school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

Shares of Vista Outdoor (VSTO), a maker of ammunition, climbed 4.72% to $36.80. Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH) was up 1.14% to $8.86 a share, while AMMO (POWW) rallied 2.53% to $4.05.

Gun stocks tend to surge after mass shootings, because stock traders think people will rush out and buy more weapons and ammunition in anticipation of stricter gun laws.