Dow futures edge higher ahead of Federal Reserve rate decision


U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Wednesday morning, as traders eagerly awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy decision.

At around 3:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures were 126 points higher, indicating a positive open of more than 42 points. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were seen little changed from the previous session.

Market focus is largely attuned to the actions of the U.S. central bank, amid mounting speculation the Fed could be tempted to pause monetary tightening on Wednesday.

A dramatic fall in the price of oil overnight has added to deflationary pressures worldwide, at a time when trade and economic activity are already cooling.

Complicating matters further for the central bank, President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that it must tread carefully in order not to “make yet another mistake,” while a Wall Street Journal editorial also called for a pause.

Nonetheless, market participants still widely expect the Fed to announce a quarter-point rate hike on Wednesday.

On the data front, investors are likely to monitor third-quarter current account figures at around 8:30 a.m. ET, with existing home sales for November due to be released later in the session.

In corporate news, General Mills and Winnebago are scheduled to release their latest quarterly earnings shortly before the opening bell.