U.S. Stocks May See Initial Strength Ahead Of Fed Announcement

After coming under pressure late in the previous session, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 44 points.

A positive reaction to the latest batch of corporate earnings news may contribute to an early upward move on Wall Street.

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is moving sharply higher in pre-market trading after reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates and raising its full-year guidance.

Shares of General Motors (GM) are also likely to see initial strength after the automaker reported a narrower than expected second quarter loss.

General Electirc (GE) may also move to the upside after the conglomerate reported a wider than expected second quarter loss but said sequential improvement in earnings and cash in the second half of the year is achievable.

Nonetheless, overall trading activity may be somewhat subdued as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged at near-zero levels, although traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about further stimulus.

Not long after the start of trading, The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on pending home sales in the month of June. Pending home sales are expected to jump by 15.0 percent in June after skyrocketing by 44.3 percent in May.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, largely offsetting Monday’s upward move. The tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a particularly steep loss after outperforming its counterparts on Monday.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session near their worst levels of the day. The Dow slid 205.49 points or 0.8 percent to 26,379.28, the Nasdaq tumbled 134.18 points or 1.3 percent to 10,402.09 and the S&P 500 fell 20.97 points or 0.7 percent to 3,218.44.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slumped by 1.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged up by 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has advanced by 0.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is just above the unchanged line.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.30 to $41.34 a barrel after falling $0.56 to $41.04 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,953.30, up $8.70 compared to the previous session’s recording closing high of $1,944.60. On Tuesday, gold jumped $13.60.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.06 yen compared to the 105.09 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1731 compared to yesterday’s $1.1716.

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