Stocks – U.S. Futures Higher as Investors Wait for Fed Decision


Stocks - U.S. Futures Higher as Investors Wait for Fed Decision – U.S. futures rose on Wednesday as investors turn their focus to the Federal Reserve press conference later in the session.

The S&P 500 futures rose 19 points or 0.78% to 2,557.88 as of 6:40 AM ET (11:40 GMT) while Dow futures jumped 185 points, or 0.78%, to 23,794. Meanwhile tech heavy Nasdaq 100 futures increased 52 points, or 0.80%, to 6,535.75.

A fourth rate hike is expected at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting. Investors will be watching closely for signs of further hikes into 2019, as global risks and dovish tones from Fed leaders, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, have pointed to a slowing rate of increases.

“While overall data has remained solid, financial market volatility, falling inflation expectations, and pockets of slowing growth will likely combine to produce a dovish hike in December”, BNP Paribas analysts said in a research note.

The decision and release of new forecasts or the dot-plot, is scheduled for 2:00 PM ET (19:00 GMT), with a press conference at 2:30 PM ET (19:30 GMT).

General Electric (NYSE:GE) was among the top gainers in premarket trading, rising 2.5%, while Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) gained 0.8%,Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped 1% and Nike (NYSE:NKE) inched up 0.2%.

Elsewhere, semiconductor company Micron (NASDAQ:MU) slumped 8% after its revenue came in lower than expected. Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ:AMD) was also down 0.8%. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) inched down 1% after news that it had granted tech firms even more access to user data than initially thought.

In economic news, existing home sales comes out at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT).

In commodities, gold futures fell 0.16% to $1,251.65 a troy ounce, while crude oil inched up 0.04% to $46.62 a barrel. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.3% to 96.31.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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