/Global stocks climb as investors look towards Fed decision, while US futures dip ahead of Apple and Facebook earnings (DJI, IXIC, NDX, SPX, AAPL, FB, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT)

Global stocks climb as investors look towards Fed decision, while US futures dip ahead of Apple and Facebook earnings (DJI, IXIC, NDX, SPX, AAPL, FB, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT)

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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

US futures dipped on Wednesday, while global stocks moved broadly higher as investors waited for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision and digested more earnings reports from major companies.

Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slipped 0.11%, after the index closed slightly lower on Tuesday. Dow Jones futures dipped 0.15% but S&P 500 futures climbed 0.06% after both closed roughly flat the previous day.

In Europe, the continent-wide Stoxx 600 was down 0.09%, despite Germany’s Deutsche Bank jumping 7.2% after posting its best quarterly profit since 2014. In the UK, Lloyds rose 3.5% after the bank also reported a surge in profit.

Asian stocks moved broadly higher overnight, with China’s CSI 300 rising 0.56% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbing 0.21%.

Wednesday was set to be another busy day for investors, with the Federal Reserve setting interest rates and Apple and Facebook releasing first-quarter earnings.

Analysts expect the Fed to reiterate its commitment to maintaining its massive support for the US economy, despite signs that inflation is rising and the jobs market is rapidly healing.

“We don’t expect any substantive new signal yet on tapering – or tightening – even as the tone on the economy is more positive than in March,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief US macro strategist at TD Securities, said in a note.

O’Sullivan said TD now thinks the Fed will start tapering – that is, cutting back on bond purchases – in March 2022 rather than September 2022 as previously expected.

Aaron Anderson, senior vice-president of research at Fisher Investments, said: “One of the Fed’s biggest challenges is to convince the market it means what it says, especially as base effects and supply-chain bottlenecks cause certain inflation data to tick temporarily higher.

“The market will be listening closely for any signs the Fed is wavering on its ultra-accommodative policies.”

US bond yields rose on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, with the yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note climbing to a near 2-week high of 1.645%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The rise in yields weighed on US stocks, analysts said, making equities look relatively less attractive.

Investors were also preparing for more major US earnings, with Apple and Facebook due to report. The two tech titans face a tough crowd, with the market selling Tesla and Microsoft despite the companies bringing in bumper profits.

Google-parent Alphabet climbed 4.24% in pre-market trading, however, after it smashed sales records in the first quarter.

Also on the radar is Joe Biden’s first address as president to a joint session of Congress. Biden is expected to push for major spending and tax hikes as part of his American Families Plan.

Oil prices fluctuated as traders weighed up plans by crude-exporting countries to gradually lift production and rising coronavirus cases around the world, most notably in India.

Brent crude oil was up 0.03% to $65.89 a barrel, while WTI crude was 0.06% higher at $62.98 a barrel.

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