MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures Steady As Market Waits For Fed Decision, Earnings Rush

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil builds on biggest one-day rally of the year

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U.S. stock futures indicated a muted open Wednesday, as traders braced for fresh signals from the Federal Reserve and another round of earnings reports from big names such as Ford and Facebook.

S&P 500 futures edged up by 2.40 points, or 0.1%, to 2,476.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures inched higher by 23 points, or 0.1%, to 21,583.00. Nasdaq-100 futures were roughly flat at 5,934.25.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite edged up to record closes (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-futures-fight-for-direction-as-alphabet-sets-downbeat-tone-2017-07-25), boosted by better-than-expected results from high-profile companies. The Dow added 100 points, or 0.5%, and finished just 0.1% below last week's all-time high.

"A number of major companies have stepped up to meet the challenge this quarter, beating the Street handily to provide fundamental support to the market rally," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.

Meanwhile, oil futures traded higher amid hopes that U.S. inventories may have fallen sharply last week. A rise of almost 1% in the early going (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-rally-continues-as-optimism-builds-ahead-us-supply-data-2017-07-26) looks to stretch crude's week-to-date gain to about 5%.

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See:Here's why oil just scored its biggest one-day rally of 2017 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-oil-prices-scored-their-biggest-one-day-rally-of-2017-2017-07-25)

Economic docket: The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting is due to end with an announcement at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. No rise in interest rates is expected, but the U.S. central bank could suggest the process of trimming its balance sheet will begin relatively soon.

See:Fed to stick to plans for rate hike, balance-sheet selloff this year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-retreat-fed-to-stick-to-plans-for-rate-hike-balance-sheet-selloff-this-year-2017-07-24)

Before the Fed announcement, a June figure for new home sales is due at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect a reading of 615,000.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Stock movers: Shares in Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) soared 10% in premarket action. The move came after the chip maker reported stronger-than-anticipated earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-jumps-after-beating-on-earnings-raising-forecast-2017-07-25) and raised its guidance late Tuesday.

See:AMD earnings give investors what they wanted, now it must deliver more (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amd-earnings-give-investors-what-they-wanted-now-it-must-deliver-2017-07-25)

Telecom (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/att-shares-rise-more-than-2-as-company-beats-earnings-expectations-2017-07-25)AT&T Inc.(T) and burrito chain (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-shares-rise-as-earnings-beat-wall-streets-estimates-2017-07-25)Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG) also look set for up days after the companies posted better-than-expected earnings late Tuesday.

But biotech giant Amgen Inc.(AMGN) appears on track for a down session following its report (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amgen-shares-down-3-after-companys-guidance-on-lower-end-of-expectations-2017-07-25).

Earnings deluge:Coca-Cola Co.(KO) , Ford Motor Co.(F) and chocolatier Hershey Co.(HSY) are on the earnings docket before the open, along with appliances maker Whirlpool Corp.(WHR) and insurer Anthem Inc.(ANTM)

Aerospace heavyweights Boeing Co.(BA) and Northrop Grumman Corp.(NOC) are expected to report ahead of the opening bell, while Facebook Inc.'s (FB) release is on tap after the market's close.

Other markets: European equities traded higher, after Asian markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-aussie-stocks-continue-to-rise-spurred-on-by-commodity-prices-2017-07-26) closed mixed. Gold futures lost ground, as a key dollar index edged up.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2017 05:22 ET (09:22 GMT)