The U.S. stock index futures point to a slightly higher open Wednesday ahead of the Census Bureau's new home sales data and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.07 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.38 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were down 0.26 percent.
Investors are expected to focus on September new home sales data to be reported after the markets open Wednesday. The new home sales, measuring the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month, are expected to rise to 390,000, up from 373,000 in August.
Investors are likely to focus on the FOMC meeting's outcome, which is due to be released at 2:15 pm EDT. Analysts believe that October FOMC meeting will not result in any material changes to the monetary policy outlook since a new round of QE was launched in September.
The interest rate is expected to remain unchanged at 0.25 percent. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates at historic low in the range between 0 percent and 0.25 percent in an attempt to increase consumption and business operations by making borrowing cheaper.
“We look for the Fed to continue with its current pace of $40 billion per month of agency MBS purchases until it sees substantial improvement in labor market conditions and to maintain its commitment to undertake additional asset purchases, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability,” said a note from Credit Agricole.
Meanwhile, market players will be keenly watching the earning reports from Boeing, AT&T, Motorola Solutions, EMC Corp, General Dynamics and Zynga to be announced Wednesday.
On the corporate front, shares of Facebook Inc (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) will be in focus after the companies reported their third quarter earnings Tuesday. Facebook stock climbed 12.87 percent in post-market trading. The company reported the third quarter adjusted net income of $311 million or $0.12 per share compared to $273 million or $0.12 per share last year and topped Reuters’ estimate of $0.11 per share.
Netflix stock tumbled 16.31 percent to $57.09 in post-market trading. Its third quarter net income plunged to $7.68 million or $0.13 per share from $62.46 million or $1.16 per share in the same period last year. The company expects that its fourth quarter results will be in a range of between a net loss of $0.23 per share and net earnings of $0.04 per share compared to the analysts’ estimate of a loss of $0.08 per share.
On Tuesday, the U.S. markets plunged, with the Dow Jones Industrials Average declining over 1.8 percent or 243.36 points, its worst single-day decline in four months, as the disappointing earnings from Dow components DuPont and United Technologies and the renewed concerns about Spain raised fears about the global economic slowdown.
European markets are currently trading in a tight range with FTSE 100 down by 1.91 points, DAX30 up by 3.50 points and CAC 40 up by 2.04 points.
Most of the Asian markets declined Wednesday following a slump on the Wall Street overnight. However, the downward move was limited as a private sector version of the Chinese manufacturing PMI rose closer to expansionary territory. The HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a measure of the nation-wide manufacturing, gained to 49.1 in October from September’s final reading of 47.9, easing the worries about a sharp slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
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