Wall Street Poised to Extend Climb

By MarketsFOXBusiness

FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here

U.S. stock-index futures indicated the broad S&P 500 would extend its march toward record highs as traders awaited the Fed's policy decision later in the day.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 16 points, or 0.1%, to 16278, S&P 500 futures advanced 2.5 points, or 0.13%, to 1866 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.5 points, or 0.18%, to 3701.

The S&P 500 jumped for the second-straight day Tuesday in its best two days since February 7. The move was driven by hopes the situation in Eastern Europe will cool down and sanctions on Russia will be soft enough that it won't weigh on the broader economy.

The focus is, however, shifting back to the U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve is set to release its monetary policy decision at 2 p.m. ET. Economists broadly expect the central bank to continue paring back its bond purchases, likely by another $10 billion a month. Members of the Fed's policy-setting board have said they believe the recent slowdown in growth has come as a result of temporary factors, like unusually harsh weather that has swept through the country during the early part of the year.

Wall Street will pay close attention to the central bank's forward guidance on interest rates. An unexpectedly steep fall in the unemployment rate has forced the Fed to say it will likely keep its benchmark interest rate at record lows long after the jobless rate falls below 6.5%. The Street is looking for more clarity on the Fed's plans, and what it thinks about an environment of low inflation.

Janet Yellen is also set to deliver her first media briefing since taking of helm of the world's mightiest central bank.

In corporate news, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) posted fiscal third-quarter results that widely missed expectations. The shipping giant blamed bad weather, but the shares still slumped on the news.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 9 cents, or 0.09%, to $99.62 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.64% to $2.884 a gallon. Gold slumped $12.90, or 0.96%, to $1,346 a troy ounce.

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