S&P 500 futures traded near flat early Wednesday morning as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s policy decision and subsequent press conference slated for the afternoon.
Aside from the Fed’s policy announcement, investors are preparing for Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks to the media, where he may give insight into the state of the economy and the central bank’s path forward.
Markets are expecting a 90% chance that the central bank will keep rates at the current target of 5% to 5.25%, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool. This would be a reprieve from rate hikes following a streak of 10 straight increases.
May’s producer price index, an indicator of the path of inflation, is due on Wednesday morning. Economists polled by Dow Jones anticipate a decline of 0.1%. On Tuesday, May’s reading of the consumer price index, which showed the lowest annual increase in more than two years, bolstered investor hopes that the Fed will not raise interest rates.
That optimism pushed the market higher on Tuesday. The 30-stock Dow added nearly 146 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq touched their highest levels since last April during the session.
“The market was supported by the CPI report indicating that inflation continues to edge lower, and that the Fed will ‘skip’ tomorrow for a rate announcement,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. “Much depends on tomorrow’s FOMC statement and Jerome Powell’s answers during the press conference.”