US stocks were little changed before the bell Wednesday after logging a third straight losing month as investors digested updates on the bond market and prepared for the Federal Reserve’s latest policy decision.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 (^GSPC) Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were all just below the flat line.
Front of mind for Wall Street is the Fed’s decision on interest rates at the end of its meeting Wednesday afternoon, when policymakers are widely expected to hold rates steady while keeping the option to raise rates further if needed.
Read more: What the Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards
Investors will scrutinize the choice of words in the statement as well as Chair Jerome Powell’s comments for clues to the Fed’s thinking on the future path of rates. Officials have stressed they will tread carefully to avoid significantly slowing the US economy as they strive to cool inflation.
Treasury yields edged lower, with the 10-year yield (^TNX) trading around 4.88% ahead of the Fed decision. Yields ticked lower after the US Treasury’s quarterly refunding update revealed the Treasury will auction $112 billion in debt next week, roughly in line with Wall Street’s expectations. Stock investors are watching the announcement more closely than usual, given how the August update contributed to the recent run-up in yields.
On the economic data front, the ADP National Employment Report for October showed 113,000 jobs were added to the US economy, below the Street’s estimates for 150,000.
More financial reports rolled in, in a season that so far has failed to give the hoped-for impetus to stocks. AMD’s shares slipped after the chip designer’s results beat estimates on the top and bottom line, but fell short on its fourth-quarter guidance. Kraft Heinz missed analysts’ estimates for third-quarter sales, while CVS profit topped estimates amid a strong performance for its pharmacy business.
Stock futures fall ahead of Fed policy decision
The major US stock indexes fell ahead of the market open on Wednesday as investors braced for the Federal Reserve’s call on interest rates and as earnings reports flooded in.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were down 0.33%, or 109 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures dropped 0.39%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) fell 0.44%.
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