Stock futures trading carefully ahead of tech hearing, Fed decision

Traders will be watching earnings, tech and the Fed

U.S. equity futures are swinging between gains and losses ahead of the Wednesday trading session.

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Futures indexes suggest a small gain at the open.

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There are several issues and events that could steer the trading session.

The Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting on interest rates Tuesday, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday. Investors largely expect the central bank to keep short-term rates at their record, near-zero low, but they’re also looking to hear what it says about how long they may stay there.

On Tuesday, the Fed said it will extend the lives of seven of the lending programs by three months through the end of the year, an acknowledgment of the severity of the recession.

FED WRESTLES WITH ITS NEXT MOVES AS VIRUS STALLS US ECONOMY

On Capitol Hill, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, will appear at a House antitrust hearing.

Boeing will be the only Dow member reporting earnings. General Motors will also report before the bell.

General Electric reported a bigger-than-expected loss, however revenue topped expectations.

PayPal and Qualcomm will be after the markets close.

Asian shares were mixed Wednesday as reports of dismal company earnings add to pessimism over the widespread economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo's Nikkei lost 1.1 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.5 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite jumped 2.1 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 percent and France's CAC rose 0.7 percent.

In the Tuesday session, the S&P 500 fell 0.6 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq composite rose 2.1 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27433.48+46.50+0.17%
SP500S&P 5003351.28+2.12+0.06%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX11010.982553-97.09-0.87%

Rising coronavirus counts in many states are bringing a new wave of shutdowns and investors are hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can reach a deal on more aid for the 16 million or so Americans who are getting unemployment benefits, even though the two sides still seem to be far apart.

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Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 31 cents to $41.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 56 cents to $41.04 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 46 cents to $43.68 per barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.