U.S. stocks opened mixed on Wednesday, with investors assessing earnings from mega-cap tech companies. That was ahead of the latest Federal Reserve meeting and President Joe Biden’s speech.
It’s Fed decision day, with the decision due at 2 PM ET (1900 GMT). The U.S. central bank is not likely to change its ultra-easy monetary policies.
Much of the focus will be comments from Chairman Jerome Powell. He has consistently indicated that policymakers won’t be withdrawing support anytime soon.
Moreover, President Joe Biden’s key speech before a joint session of Congress. He is expected to call on U.S. policymakers to pass a $1.8 trillion package for children and families and the tax increases needed to pay for it.
Earnings from big tech companies continued Wednesday, with both Apple and Facebook due to release numbers after the close. The Big Tech have been behind a lot of the hefty gains that the major stock indices have registered in the last year.
Among the other major corporate earnings scheduled for Wednesday were Boeing, Qualcomm, Ford, eBay, and MGM Resorts.
Stocks on the Move
The Dow Futures contract was down 40 points, or 0.1% at 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT). The S&P 500 Futures traded 4 points, or 0.1%, higher. Moreover, Nasdaq 100 Futures fell 15 points, or 0.1%.
Google parent Alphabet released impressive Q1 earnings after the close on Tuesday, sending its stock up over 5% premarket. The recovering economy and growing use of online services worked together to speed up its advertising and cloud businesses. Moreover, it announced a $50 billion share buyback.
By contrast, Microsoft stock traded around 2% lower even after offering up its largest revenue growth since 2018. Investors were seeking even more to justify the company’s sky-high valuation.
Meanwhile, in energy commodities, oil prices traded marginally higher on Wednesday. They were lifted by OPEC+ deciding to move forward with a gradual output increase as planned. This indicates confidence in the growing recovery of global oil demand despite the Covid-19 crisis in India, the world’s third-largest importer.
U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% higher at $63.17 a barrel. Moreover, Brent contract added 0.3% to $66.08.
The American Petroleum Institute last week reported that U.S. crude stockpiles increased by over 4.3 million barrels. Later on Wednesday, investors will await crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In precious metals, gold futures fell 0.8% to $1,765.25/oz, while in forex, EUR/USD traded 0.2% lower at 1.2069.