US pre-open: Futures point to early gains ahead of Fed decision
Wall Street futures had stocks opening higher ahead of the bell on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's latest policy meeting.
As of 1230 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 0.52%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.60% and 0.56% firmer, respectively.
The Dow closed just 2.27 points higher on Tuesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting and following Apple's first virtual-only product reveal.
Wednesday's main focus will undoubtedly be the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting, its first since agreeing to target average inflation.
The Federal Reserves' interest rate decision will be announced at 1900 BST, as will the FOMC's economic projections, while a press conference will follow at 1930 BST.
Market participants expect the central bank to maintain its downbeat stance on the US economy but were also hoping for the Fed to provide greater clarity on what it would take to raise interest rates in the future.
Oanda's Craig Erlam said: ""While we're not anticipating more easing today, there is an expectation that the Fed will provide further colour on the changes announced last month. What exactly does this mean for monetary policy? Can we expect more asset purchases? Negative interest rates? Yield curve control? At what stage should we factor in rate increases?
"I'm not naive enough to expect answers to all of these questions today but the Fed will need to display a dovish shift from the last meeting, reflecting the commitment to the new framework. And more detail may be demanded regarding what the change means in reality. I wonder whether the Fed is positioned to disappoint."
On the macro front, mortgage applications dropped 2.5% in the week ended 11 September as ongoing economic uncertainty managed to offset low interest rates and all but reverse the prior week's 2.9% increase. The Mortgage Bankers Association also said applications to refinance a home loan dropped 3.7% and homebuyer mortgage applications declined 0.5%.
Still to come, August retail sales figures will be published at 1330 BST, while July business inventories data and the NAHB's housing market index for September were both scheduled for release at 1500 BST.
In the corporate space, stronger-than-anticipated earnings from both FedEx and Adobe after the close helped boost sentiment.
Shares in data storage firm Snowflake will be open for trading on Wednesday, with the group expecting to go public at $100-110 per share.
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