(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat opening for Wall Street’s main indexes on Wednesday, as investors refrained from taking positions ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy statement that is expected to open the door to future interest rate cuts.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Bets of a rate cut have helped markets climb in June, with the S&P 500 index gaining 6% so far and about 1% away from its all-time high hit in early May.
The Fed’s statement and new economic projections are to be released at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), giving investors an idea on how a prolonged U.S.-China trade conflict, President Donald Trump’s demands for a rate cut and softer-than-expected economic data have impacted monetary policy thinking.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET (1830 GMT).
“Expectations remain elevated over a rate cut in July and investors will be closely scrutinizing the statement for confirmation of a cut next month,” said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at ForexTime Limited in London.
“Should the Fed sound less dovish than expected or completely omit any hints about taking action next month, it could send equity markets sliding.”
Global financial markets have been fired up by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s Tuesday volte-face on policy easing and as investors bet on a worldwide wave of central bank stimulus.
At 8:27 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 17 points, or 0.06%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.02% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8.75 points, or 0.11%.
Sentiment was also buoyed by hopes of progress on U.S.-China trade dispute, with Beijing hinting that positive outcomes were possible in negotiations with Washington, after the world’s two largest economies agreed to revive their troubled talks at a G20 meeting this month.
Trade-sensitive industrial giants Boeing Co and Caterpillar Inc rose in premarket trading, while semiconductor companies, which source and supply products to China, also moved higher.
Boeing shares inched up 0.5% as the planemaker secured orders from Taiwan’s China Airlines and Qatar Airways at the Paris Airshow, a day after IAG placed a lifeline order for the grounded 737 MAX jet.
Among other stocks, Adobe Inc jumped 4% after the Photoshop software provider beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit and revenue.
TripAdvisor Inc gained 3.4% after SunTrust Robinson upgraded the company’s stock to “buy.”
Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila