Interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve
As investors prepared expecting a significant interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve for a third consecutive time, U.S. stock index futures took a break on Wednesday.
At the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the U.S. central bank is anticipated to raise rates by 75 basis points to a range of 3-3.25%. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a news conference immediately afterward.
The emphasis will be on economic projections, which should provide information about how quickly policymakers believe interest rates must rise to control prices that have remained persistently high.
Fears that the U.S. economy may enter a recession due to the rate hikes’ rapid pace and mounting evidence of the impact of decades-high inflation on earnings outlooks from businesses like FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) and Ford Motor (NYSE:F) Co. have caused the S&P 500 to drop to two-month lows.
At 5:22 a.m. ET, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.11%, while S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.5 points. The Dow was up 10 points, or 0.03%.
While President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first mobilization since World War Two, shares of American defense corporations Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX), Lockheed Martin Corp (NYSE:LMT), and Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE:NOC) increased between 1.8% and 3.2% in premarket trade.