Stock futures are flat ahead of key Fed policy decision

Stock futures were little changed on Tuesday evening as investors braced for the Federal Reserve’s latest policy move after its meeting on Wednesday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were 10 points lower. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures hovered on the flatline.

In regular trading, major stock averages ended the day lower after September job openings showed a resilient labor market. The Dow fell about 79 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 lost 0.41% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.89%.

Investors are awaiting a key policy decision from the Fed, which is expected to be widely announced raise interest rates by three-quarters of a point, its fourth consecutive rise of this magnitude, as part of its continued efforts to combat high inflation. Market participants, however, are waiting for a signal that the central bank is ready to slow the pace of its rate hike plan in December.

“We are looking for a little guidance… 75 [basis points] is predicted, it will strike, but what will be the prediction? It all depends on what happens and the pace of the next increases,” said Victoria Greene, chief investment officer at G Squared Private Wealth. She spoke on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.”

On Tuesday, the ISM manufacturing index showing the share of companies reporting an expansion in October fell by 0.9 percentage points than September. The JOLTS report showed 1.9 job openings for every available worker.

“That’s just not a big number for the Fed, it’s still a tight labor market,” Greene said. “So I think they’re still between a rock and a hard place. They’re going to have to walk. Nobody likes it. Everybody wants them to stop, but it’s like a car accident in slow motion .They just can’t stop walking.”

In addition to the Fed’s policy decision, investors will also be watching mortgage application data and ADP’s jobs report, both due Wednesday morning.

Earnings season continues on Wednesday with healthcare companies such as CVS Health, Humana and GlaxoSmithKline before the bell. Paramount and yum! Marks are also on the bridge.

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