Stock futures are flat ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike

I wish the Fed would just hike more and get it over with, says Ed Yardeni

Stock futures were flat Tuesday evening as traders look ahead to Wednesday’s interest rate hike announcement from the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 12 points, or 0.04%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.07% and 0.07%, respectively.

Stocks fell Tuesday on the first day of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 313.45 points, or 1.01%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.13% and 0.95% respectively.

Yields also jumped Tuesday. The 2-year U.S. Treasury note yield surged as high as 3.99%, its highest level since 2007. The yield on the 10-year Treasury briefly touched 3.6%, the most since 2011.

Investors expect that on Wednesday, the central bank will deliver its third consecutive 0.75 percentage point rate hike to tame high inflation. A higher-than-expected consumer price index reading in August and hawkish comments on rate hikes from Fed leaders have weighed on stocks, with more pressure likely ahead as the central bank continues to fight inflation.

“We’ll never truly know whether the equity market lows are in for the year without successfully testing the June lows,” said John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management in a Tuesday note. “To be sure, the recent technical weakness in stock prices must now contend with the resolve of monetary policy makers in their fight against inflation.”

He added that third-quarter earnings season may also add headwinds for stock prices if they show further margin erosion for U.S. companies.

Investors will also be watching for earnings from Lennar, KB Homes, General Mills and Steelcase Wednesday. Existing home sales will also be released Wednesday morning.

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