The mid-week mood on Wall Street looks to be positive after a blockbuster media and telecom merger got the go-ahead and as investors look toward the potential Fed interest rate hike.
Investor focus today is likely to be on the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting and press conference scheduled for this afternoon. If the Fed does what investors seem to be thinking it will, there might not be much market reaction immediately after the announcement.
Fed funds futures were pointing to a near certainty that the Fed will raise rates today. What investors appear to be waiting for is commentary from the central bank that could give clues to the Fed’s thoughts on a fourth rate hike this year.
If that language appears to be increasingly hawkish, stocks could move lower as investors worry about further monetary policy tightening. More dovish language could have the opposite effect. But digesting that could take some time and stocks may not react until tomorrow, if they do at all.
The More the Merrier?
Investors may also be looking for an indication of whether the Fed will increase the number of press conferences, Wayne Wicker, senior vice president and chief investment officer with retirement plan manager ICMA-RC, said Tuesday.
On Tuesday, with the U.S.-North Korea summit out of the way and not making too many ripples in the markets, investors appeared to be keeping their powder dry ahead of the Fed meeting. The S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) were up a bit while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) lost just 0.01 percent.
Investors also spent much of Tuesday waiting for an antitrust decision on whether AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) purchase of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) could go forward. The deal got the green light, potentially setting