US Stocks May Give Back Ground Ahead Of Fed Announcement

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By Investors Hub

The major US index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Wednesday, with stocks likely to give back ground following the strong upward move seen in the previous session.

Traders may cash in on gains by US stocks yesterday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

While the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for further rate hikes.

After a slightly cautious start, stocks climbed higher on Tuesday thanks to sustained buying across the board.

Investors picked up stocks right through the day’s session, digesting a slew of stronger-than-expected earnings updates and the latest batch of economic data.

Data showing a slowdown in the pace of growth in US labour costs helped raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will soften its aggressive approach to fighting inflation.

The major averages all ended with strong gains. The Dow ended with a gain of 368.95 points or 1.09 per cent at 34,086.04. The S&P 500 surged 58.83 points or 1.46 per cent to 4,076.60, while the Nasdaq climbed 190.74 points or 1.67 per cent to 11,584.55.

The Dow gained about 6.6 per cent in the month, while the S&P surged nearly 3 per cent, and the Nasdaq gained as much as 11.5 per cent.

Data showing a drop in labour costs has reinforced the view that the central bank will likely slow the pace of its monetary policy tightening and raise the interest rate by 25 basis points.

The central bank’s accompanying statement will be in focus for clues about further interest rate hikes.

On the economic front, data from the Labor Department showed employment cost index wages in the US increased by 1% on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2022, after rising 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in the United States decreased 0.8% month-over-month in November of 2022, the same as in October and marking a fifth consecutive decline.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said the Chicago PMI in the United States fell back to 44.3 points in January of 2023 from 44.9 in December and compared to market forecasts of 45. The reading pointed to a fifth consecutive month of contraction in business activity in the Chicago region.

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