Futures flat as investors focus on Fed meeting

Futures flat as investors focus on Fed meeting

Futures flat as investors focus on Fed meeting

US stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday, with the Dow hitting another record, ahead of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to roll out a plan to pare the central bank's bond holdings.

The Dow is up 37.20 points or 0.2 percent at 22,368.55, the Nasdaq is up 2.52 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 6,457.16 and the S&P 500 is up 2.55 points or 0.1 percent at 2,506.42.

The S&P 500 clung to a small gain on Monday, led by financial stocks ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting, while Nasdaq pared gains sharply as technology stocks reversed course after news of a pricing change at Amazon.com's web services business.

The Fed left rates unchanged for now, as was widely anticipated, but investors' expectations changed for December after the US central bank signaled one more rate hike by year-end despite recent weak inflation readings. The expectations are that rates will remain unchanged and they (the Fed) will start balance sheet unwinding.

"Furthermore investors and speculators will be equally interested to hear what Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has to say about the prospect of another rate hike before the year is out".

In the bond market, treasuries have moved slightly higher ahead of the Fed announcement. With the gain, the average reached a two-month closing high. The Fed chief said policy makers are aware of the risk of prices suddenly jolting higher: "We want to be careful not to allow the economy to overheat to somewhere later on to have to have tighten monetary policy rapidly and.cause a recession".

The Labor Department said imports prices climbed by 0.6 percent in August after edging down by 0.1 percent in July.

At midday: Fresh records on Wall Street
Gold Price Retreats as Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady

With the focus on the Fed, traders shrugged off a report from the National Association of Realtors showing an unexpected decrease in existing home sales in the month of August.

General Mills was down more than 8% after its quarterly profit missed estimates, hurt by lower sales of its yogurts and cereals in North America.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.36-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.(BBBY) slumped almost 16%, marking its lowest close since 2009 and its second-worst drop on record, according to WSJ Market Group Data, after the retailer late Tuesday released earnings that widely missed forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bed-bath-beyond-earnings-miss-widely-stock-halted-2017-09-19).

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2 per cent after wobbling between positive and negative territory in early trading.

Dow e-minis were up 14 points, or 0.06 percent, with 11 contracts changing hands.

The major European markets have also shown a lack of direction on the day. In London, Brent crude, its global counterpart, slid 0.3% or to $US55.48 a barrel.

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