Stock futures are falling as traders await the latest rate hike decision from the Federal Reserve

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Source: NYSE

Stock futures fell on Wednesday as investors looked forward to the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday.

Futures related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 140 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures fell 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

The Federal Reserve will announce at 2pm ET how much it will raise interest rates in its latest efforts to tame high inflation. Markets expect a rise of 25 basis points, or 0.25 percentage point, from the central bank. On Tuesday, the labor cost index, a measure of wage increases, showed compensation rising 1% in the fourth quarter, less than the 1.1% estimate by the Dow Jones.

However, traders may come forward in anticipation of a more dovish tone from the Fed, or look for signs that there is a pause in the rally or even a pivot point soon.

“The aggressive tightening in 2022 has led to signs of inflation slowing but from levels that remain unacceptably high,” Ron Temple, senior market analyst at Lazard, said in a note on Tuesday. “With a 25 basis point increase discounted by markets, Powell’s job is to signal unequivocally the Fed’s commitment to taming inflation.”

The Fed’s announcement will be followed by comments from Chair Jerome Powell.

Wall Street is out of a solid trading session through the end of January. The Dow Jones finished Tuesday up nearly 369 points, up 1.09%. The S&P 500 rose 1.46% to its best January performance since 2019. The heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.67%, notching its best January performance in 22 years.

Earnings season continues, too. Peloton and Meta Platforms are scheduled to report quarterly results on Wednesday.

Shares of Snap fell more than 15% after the social media company posted disappointing quarterly revenue. The company’s average revenue per user, a key metric for Snap, also fell short of expectations. Meanwhile, AMD reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue but warned of a 10% drop in the first quarter.

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