Stock futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest rate hike as part of its efforts to crush inflation.
Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 16 points, or less than 0.1%. Futures contracts related to the S&P 500 were also nearly flat.
The Fed will conclude its meeting in December and is expected to raise interest rates by 50 basis points. That’s a smaller bump after four straight 75 basis point hikes. A basis point is one percent.
Chairman Jerome Powell will also speak on Wednesday, providing more clues about what’s to come from the Fed in 2023. In earlier meetings this year, traders have been sensitive to Powell’s language, interpreting his tone as hawkish or dovish.
“Obviously the market thinks there’s going to be a pivot or pause, that’s what we saw today,” Steve Grasso, CEO of Grasso Global, said on CNBC’s “Fast Money.” “if [Powell] Put a wet cap on it, the market will sell.”
Stocks rose For the second day Tuesday, fed The inflation report is cooler than expected. The consumer price index for November was 7.1% over the year, less than the 7.3% increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The 0.1% increase from the previous month was also below expectations.
The signal that inflation has peaked was positive for stocks because it means the Fed may be one step away from stopping raising interest rates or turning to cuts, which could fuel stocks.