Stock futures trade mixed ahead of Fed meeting

The Fed will also provide its outlook for economic growth, inflation and unemployment

U.S. stocks are pointing to a mixed open on Wall Street ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.

Dow futures are indicating a decline of 0.4 percent, while the Nasdaq is higher.

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Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will face questioning via a virtual news conference Wednesday afternoon following the latest monetary policy meeting.

The Fed will also provide its outlook for economic growth, inflation and unemployment.

Powell will likely drive home the message that the economy remains in need of extraordinary help despite recent despite glimmers of a possible recovery, including a government report Friday that jobs were surprisingly added in May.

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In Asia on Wednesday, Japan's Nikkei edged 0.2 percent higher after the government reported a sharp drop in machinery orders in April. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent lower and China's Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.4 percent after data showed a drop in producer prices and lower than expected inflation in April.

In Europe, London's FTSE slipped 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent and France's CAC was 0.7 percent lower.

Apart from unabated numbers of infections in some U.S. states, experts worry surging numbers of coronavirus cases in developing regions with shaky health systems could undermine efforts to halt the pandemic.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34689.72 +667.68 +1.96%
SP500 S&P 500 4583.97 +70.93 +1.57%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15391.686441 +137.63 +0.90%

In the Tuesday session, the S&P 500 lost 25.21 points to 3,207.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.1 percent, but the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent as technology and communications services stocks advanced.

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Oil prices fell back on Wednesday, with benchmark U.S. crude oil for July delivery down $1.11 at $37.83 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 75 cents to $38.94 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude oil for August delivery gave up 98 cents to $40.18 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.