Stock futures mixed after Fed keeps interest rates near zero

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE

U.S. stock futures opened mixed on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve concluded its two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee by making no move on asset purchases.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 40 points, or 0.11%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.2% and 0.19%, respectively.

The moves in futures came after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cautioned in a press conference that although the economy is making progress toward its goals, it has a ways to go before the central bank would actually adjust its easy policies. Treasury yields inched climbed higher in anticipation of the announcement but pulled back slightly following Powell’s comments.

“We have some ground to cover on the labor market side,” Powell said. “I think we’re some way away from having had substantial further progress toward the maximum employment goal. I would want to see some strong job numbers.”

In regular trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 127.59 points, or nearly 0.4%, to 34,930.93. The S&P 500 ended the session little changed at 4,400.64. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.7% to 14,762.58.

PayPal and Facebook fell 6% and 4%, respectively, after warning of significant growth slowdown as they reported quarterly earnings.

Shares of Ford rose more than 2% after it raised its 2021 outlook, saying it’s selling more cars that are more expensive, though it missed analysts’ estimates on earnings.

“The market is understanding we are having a blowout quarter here compared to a year ago,” said Michael Reynolds, vice president of investment strategy at Glenmede. “What’s much more important this season is the guidance we’re getting on quarters ahead, as the economy settles out into what might be the new normal.”

The major averages are on track to end the month higher, with the S&P up 2.4% for July. The Nasdaq Composite and Dow are up 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

Amazon, Pinterest and Anheuser-Busch are set to report earnings Thursday. Traders will also watch out for the latest readings on initial jobless claims and pending home sales.

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