U.S. stocks are rising on optimism ahead of Fed rate decision

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U.S. stocks are rising on optimism ahead of Fed rate decision
Credit: © Reuters.

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are rising as investors await the outcome of the highly-anticipated Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

At 9:39 ET (13:39 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 89 points or 0.3% while the S&P 500 was up 0.3% and the  NASDAQ Composite was up 0.2%.

Fed’s rate decision looms

The U.S. Federal Reserve concludes its two-day meeting later Wednesday, and is widely expected to keep interest rates steady at a range of 5.25% to 5.50%, after having boosted them from near zero in around a year and a half in an attempt to control inflation.

While many investors believe the Fed will be done with rate hikes this year, there are some that still think another rate increase is possible in November, or perhaps December.

Last week’s data signaled an easing in core inflation, but surging oil prices resulted in the headline inflation figure posting its fastest growth rate in 14 months.

With this in mind, all eyes will be on Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference after the rate announcement for any additional clues over future policy, as well as the Fed's latest estimates for the economy, including year-end projections for inflation, unemployment, and gross domestic product.

BoA lifts year-end S&P 500 forecast

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) Global Research lifted its year-end forecast for the S&P 500 index to 4,600, from its previous estimate of 4,300, saying earlier Wednesday "old economy" stocks on the index could benefit as much, if not more, over their new-age tech peers.

The S&P 500 is up over 15% so far this year, largely driven by a rally in some large growth stocks, such as Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) and Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ) that have ridden the artificial intelligence boom.

Klaviyo to make debut after successful IPO

In corporate news, marketing automation company Klaviyo is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after pricing its initial public offering above its indicated range.

This continues the series of well received listings, including Instacart (NASDAQ: CART ), which ended 12% higher in its Nasdaq debut on Tuesday, and Arm Holdings (NASDAQ: ARM ).

Elsewhere, quarterly earrings are scheduled from logistics giant FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX ) after the closing bell. General Mills beat expectations for revenue and profit and reaffirmed guidance. Shares dipped 0.8%.

Crude retreats from 10-month highs 

Oil prices fell Wednesday, retreating from 10-month highs, as markets digested a forecast of a large drawdown in U.S. crude inventories ahead of the Federal Reserve interest rate decision.

Data from the industry body American Petroleum Institute, released on Tuesday, indicated that U.S. crude inventories fell by over five million barrels last week. The official data is due later Wednesday. 

Yet, despite this hefty draw, traders are taking some profit ahead of the crucial Fed decision after worries of a substantial supply deficit this year had sent prices soaring to their highest levels since November last year.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)


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