Dow futures edge higher ahead of start of crucial Fed meeting By


© Reuters — U.S. stock futures traded marginally higher Tuesday, as investors readied for the highly-anticipated two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting.

By 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT), the contract was up 50 points, or 0.2%, traded 7 points, or 0.2%, higher and climbed 20 points, or 0.1%.

Fed’s two-day meeting starts

The U.S. is set to start its latest meeting later in the session, and is widely expected to keep interest rates steady at a range of 5.25% to 5.50% when it concludes on Wednesday.

However, the central bank’s plans for the year of the year remain uncertain, especially after headline last week recorded the biggest jump in 14 months while core prices decelerated to its slowest rate in almost two years.

Investors will hear from Fed Chair at the accompanying press conference on Wednesday, where he could provide more context about the Fed’s thinking heading into the fall.

Additionally, the Fed will provide its latest set of economic projections, and the year-end projection for inflation could provide clues about decisions likely to be made at the November and December policy meetings.

OECD lifts U.S. growth forecast

The main U.S. economic data due Tuesday comes from the real estate sector, with August housing starts and building permits both expected to be 1.44 million, small drops from the prior month.

Data from the U.S. of late has tended to point to a resilient economy, leading the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to lift its forecasts for U.S. growth earlier Tuesday.

The Paris-based body said it now expected the U.S. economy to grow 2.2% this year rather than the 1.6% it forecast in June, and while it sees growth slowing to 1.3% next year, that was still better than the 1.0% for 2024 expected in June.

Instacart to start trading after IPO 

In corporate news, earnings are due from auto parts retailer AutoZone (NYSE:), while Instacart is set to start trading on the Nasdaq later Tuesday after the online grocery delivery service priced its initial public offering at the top-end of an upwardly revised target range.

The auto sector will also be in focus after the United Auto Workers union has warned that more U.S. factories would go on strike if no progress is made in talks with automaking giants Ford (NYSE:), General Motors (NYSE:) and Jeep-manufacturer Stellantis (NYSE:).

Crude gains on U.S. shale output fall

Oil prices continued to power ahead Tuesday, rising for the fourth consecutive session, after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. oil output from top shale-producing regions is on track to fall for a third month in a row in October to the lowest level since May 2023.

This has added to worries of a substantial supply deficit this year stemming from extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Industry body releases its forecast of U.S. oil stockpiles later in the session, as a precursor for Wednesday’s official report.

By 06:30 ET, the futures traded 1% higher at $91.45 a barrel, while the contract climbed 0.7% to $95.06. 

Prices have gained for three consecutive weeks, and are now around 10-month highs for both benchmarks.

Additionally, rose 0.2% to $1,957.25/oz, while traded 0.1% higher at 1.0694. 

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)


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