On Wednesday, U.S. stocks were set for a flat open on Wall Street as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s announcement on benchmark interest rate and weighed Alabama’s Democratic win in the Senate.
S&P futures dropped 0.3 percent overnight into Wednesday after Democrat Doug Jones won a U.S. Senate seat in intensely conservative state, tightening the Republican’s Senate majority to 51-49.
The central bank is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points and it could indicate how the Trump administration’s tax overhaul could affect the U.S. economy. The central bank had not weighed in the new tax changes into next year’s rate increases. Investors will focus on how it intends to balance a stimulus-fueled economic boost with the continuing weak inflation and lukewarm wage growth that has cut back some policymakers’ interest for higher rates.
The Fed’s policy statement and its most recent economic projections are due to be released at 2 p.m. ET following this year’s final policy. Investors will pay attention if Fed’s individual rate setter consensus still contains three rate hikes for next year.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Industrial recorded record closing highs on Tuesday with an uplift from bank stocks as investors weighed in the cut U.S. corporate taxes and sustained economic growth after solid inflation data. The Labor Department is anticipated to report that the consumer price index increased by 0.4 percent in November after moving up 0.1 percent in December. The core CPI likely gained 0.2 percent following a similar gain the month prior. The report is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
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Dow e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.03 percent, with 10,366 contracts traded.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 103,409 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.13 percent, with 8,964 contracts traded.