MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Hang Back Ahead Of Apple Earnings, Fed Meeting

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Federal Reserve starts 2-day policy meeting on Tuesday

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Wall Street was set for a mixed open Tuesday, a day after Nasdaq closed at a fresh record, as investors braced for earnings releases from Apple Inc. and other high-profile companies.

Hesitation ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting, which begins later in the day, was also keeping trading in tight ranges.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 21 points, or 0.1%, to 20,852, while those for the S&P 500 index fell 1.90 points, or 0.1%, to 2,385. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index rose 3.50 points, or 0.1%, to 5,634.25.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained on Monday, ending at an all-time closing high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-to-rise-after-government-shutdown-averted-2017-05-01) as shares of Apple (AAPL) hit a record. The iPhone maker's stock was down 0.1% in Tuesday's premarket trade, with the company's quarterly earnings report due after the closing bell. See:Apple earnings preview (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-services-likely-to-top-7-billion-this-quarter-2017-04-26).

Read:The annual Apple cash bonanza is here -- will $300 billion be enough? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-annual-apple-cash-bonanza-is-here-will-300-billion-be-enough-2017-05-02)

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The S&P 500 index on Monday ended 0.2% higher, while the Dow average finished down 0.1%.

Earnings: A raft of financial updates is due ahead of the opening bell. Merck & Co. Inc.(MRK) , Pfizer Inc.(PFE) , Mastercard Inc.(MA) , Charter Communications Inc.(CHTR) and Altria Group Inc.(MO) are all slated to report premarket.

Earnings from Coach Inc.(COH) , ConocoPhillips(COP) , Aetna Inc.(AET) and Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (LL) are also on tap.

Check out:7 must-watch earnings reports this week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/7-must-watch-earnings-reports-over-the-next-week-2017-04-29)

Stock movers: Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) tumbled 13% ahead of the open, after the chip maker late Monday announced a $73 million quarterly loss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-plunges-more-than-7-after-announcing-largely-in-line-quarterly-earnings-2017-05-01).

Shares of IAC/InterActiveCorp.(IAC) and Angie's List Inc.(ANGI) could move after IAC late Monday confirmed it is buying the consumer-recommendation website for $8.50 a share (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/iac-to-buy-angies-list-for-850share-to-combine-it-with-homeadvisor-2017-05-01).

Economic news: The Fed is kicking off its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday and will announce its rate decision on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

While the central bankers are expected to keep rates on hold at this meeting, analysts are looking for any comments on the recent slowdown in U.S. economic activity. The U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter grew 0.7%, the slowest pace of growth in three years, data out on Friday showed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-economy-posts-slowest-growth-in-three-years-first-quarter-gdp-shows-2017-04-28).

"Will the Fed acknowledge a slowdown in growth and thus send rate hike expectations lower for 2017? Or are these factors only a temporary drag affected by the Easter bank holiday weekend and a delay in tax refunds, which is likely to be reversed in Q2?" said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said in a note.

"The Fed's statement should be answering these questions, and based on that, traders will act," he said.

The U.S. central bank is currently expected to raise rates two more times this year.

Read:Fed to signal rate-hike plan in place despite soft economic data (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-to-signal-rate-hike-plan-in-place-despite-soft-economic-data-2017-04-27)

There are no major economic data releases on the calendar for Tuesday, but monthly auto sales are expected to trickle out through the day.

See:

Other markets: European stock markets returned from the May Day bank holiday in an upbeat note, rising after Greece agreed on a bailout deal with its international creditors (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/greece-and-its-creditors-agree-to-bailout-package-2017-05-02).

Stock markets in Asia closed mainly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-get-a-lift-from-rally-in-tech-stocks-2017-05-01), lifted by regional tech companies.

Oil prices advanced, while metals were mixed. The ICE Dollar Index was marginally lower at 99.090.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 02, 2017 06:05 ET (10:05 GMT)