Futures Struggle for Direction awaiting Fed minutes

Futures Struggle for Direction awaiting Fed minutes

U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday with investors awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting. The markets were eager to know the central bank’s views on inflation and economic recovery.

The massive fiscal stimulus and swift vaccinations prompted several Fed officials at the March meeting to project interest rate increases. The rate increases were for as early as next year. Their projection, however, opened up a gap with those who do not see rates increasing until 2024 at the earliest.

The U.S. central bank’s minutes will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

A strong March payrolls report is only a small step towards the Fed’s threshold for considering tapering its massive support for the economy. The report helped the S&P 500 hit its fourth consecutive record high on Tuesday.

Dow E-minis were up 20 points, or 0.06% at 6:43 a.m. ET. The S&P 500 E-minis edged up 2.25 points, or 0.06%. Moreover, the Nasdaq 100 E-minis gained 6 points or 0.04%.

In premarket trading, shares of cruise operators gained between 1.9% and 3%. They were the Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corp, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 

India Stocks Ended Higher; Nifty 50 up 0.92%

Elsewhere on Wednesday, India stocks were higher after the close of trade. Gains in the Auto, Banking and Metals sectors lifted the shares higher.

The Nifty 50 gained 0.92%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index added 0.94% at the close in NSE. 

On the Nifty 50, the session’s best performers were JSW Steel Ltd. They rose 5.33% or 28.65 points to trade at 566.10 at the close. 

Moreover, GAIL Ltd added 2.97% or 4.00 points to end at 138.55. Also, Wipro Ltd climbed 2.36% or 10.10 points to 437.25 in late trade.

On the other hand,the session’s worst performers were Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd. They lost 2.76% or 23.10 points to trade at 812.45 at the close. 

Moreover, UPL Ltd declined 1.26% or 8.35 points to end at 653.00. The NTPC Ltd dropped 0.52% or 0.55 points to 105.50.

On the India National Stock Exchange, the number of rising stocks exceeded the number of declining ones by 1094 to 543, and 79 ended unchanged. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1760 advanced and 1075 retreated, while 171 ended unchanged.

Shares in JSW Steel Ltd were up 5.33% or 28.65 to 566.10, rising to all-time highs.

The India VIX was down 2.84% to 20.2475.

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