US equities brace for quiet trade as investors seek clues on Fed outlook

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The stock market is likely to see lackluster trading Wednesday morning ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in March, which investors will scrutinize for any hint of the central bank’s strategy if the economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is too intense. How are stock prices traded? Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM21, + 0.05% YM00, + 0.05% were up 20 points, or less than 0.1%, at 33,334. S&P 500 ESM21 index futures, + 0.03% ES00, + 0.03% were up 2.50 points to 4,066.50, a gain of less than 0.1%. Nasdaq-100 NQM21, -0.01% NQ00, -0.01% futures were at 13,582.50, a gain of 12.50 or 0.1%. On Tuesday, the Dow DJIA, -0.29% ended down 96.95 points, or 0.3%, to end at 33,430.24, the S&P 500 SPX index, -0.10% fell 3.97 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 4,073.94, after forging an intraday record at 4,081.37, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.05% fell 7.21 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 13,698.38, ending a streak of three consecutive wins.

Do you want to understand the future of cryptocurrencies and NFTs? Sign up for MarketWatch’s free live event today: https://events.marketwatch.com/crypto/home What’s Driving the Market? Optimism about the outlook for the business climate is mounting as more Americans get vaccine doses in their arms and Washington is targeting more spending measures to help facilitate a more complete recovery from COVID-related damage. Investors will await a report from the Fed’s two-day meeting March 16-17, due out at 2 p.m. ET, in which policy makers raised their forecasts for US economic growth and inflation. But they emphasized that accommodative monetary policy would be maintained. effective through 2023. However, the market appeared to reject those projections, and bond yields rose rapidly this year on expectations that the accelerated economic recovery from the pandemic could spur higher inflation. On average, market participants expect four quarter-percentage-point rate increases by the end of 2023 from the current range of 0% to 0.25%. “We expect the minutes to confirm that the Fed is not considering starting normalization earlier than promised, which could allow equity indices to continue a northward trend,” wrote Charalambos Pissouros, senior market analyst at JFD Group. “Although officials improved their economic and inflation forecasts, inflation is estimated at 2.4% this year, Fed Chairman Powell clearly said this will be temporary and would not meet his standards,” Pissouros wrote. “He was also adamant that it is too early to discuss the reduction [quantitative easing]But some skeptics hope the Fed may signal plans to cut its bond buying program later this year. An increase in bond yields has eased somewhat, with the yield on the TMUBMUSD10Y 10-year Treasury note, 1.658% down around 1.65% on Wednesday morning from 1.72% on Friday. The decline in benchmark bond yields has contributed to a certain appetite for tech stocks that have benefited from a low interest rate regime. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders on Wednesday and offered an optimistic view of the economy. “I have no doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE, a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine, and euphoria towards the end of the pandemic, the American economy it will probably skyrocket, “the executive wrote. . “This boom could easily reach 2023 because all the spending could extend well into 2023.” What companies are in focus? Target TGT, + 0.04% announced Wednesday a commitment to spend more than $ 2 billion with black-owned businesses by the end of 2025. XPO Logistics Inc. XPO said Wednesday that it has more than 1,400 jobs available in North America, as the The company said it is accelerating hiring to meet growing demand. LumiraDX Ltd., a point of care diagnostic testing company, will go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, CA Healthcare Acquisition Corp. CAHCU, -0.50%, in a settlement with a pro forma business value of approximately $ 5 billion. Shares of MSC Industrial Direct Co. MSM fell in premarket trading on Wednesday after the metallurgy and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) company reported a fiscal Q2 profit that beat expectations, but sales fell shyly. AppLovin Corp. APP, a maker of software for mobile app developers, set the terms for its initial public offering on Wednesday, with plans to offer 25 million shares at a price of between $ 75 and $ 85 each. Coinbase Global Inc.COIN, + 3.70% late Tuesday revealed preliminary first-quarter revenue that exceeded $ 1 billion, topping all of last year’s revenue, and a quarterly profit that approached $ 1 billion. Dollars. The cryptocurrency trading platform is expected to debut on the stock markets next week and preliminary results for the January-March period and guidance for the full year of 2021 will be released. How are other assets doing? The ICE US Dollar Index DXY, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, fell less than 0.1% to 92,258. The yield on the TMUBMUSD10Y 10-year Treasury note rose 0.4 basis points to 1.66%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions. Oil futures were trading higher, with the US benchmark CL. 1.48 cents, or 0.9%, at $ 59.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures were lower, with the June GCM21 contract, -0.46% losing $ 8.60, or 0.5%, to $ 1,734.30 an ounce on Comex. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 SXXP Index fell 0.1%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX rose 0.7%. In Asia, Shanghai Composite SHCOMP closed 0.1% lower, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI -0.91% closed 0.9% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK rose 0.1%.