Wall street barely moved Tuesday morning, as investors carefully sifted through a myriad of earnings reports, and braced themselves for the start of the Federal Reserve’s 2-day policy meeting. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will take the next couple of days to decide whether or not the United States economy is prepared to absorb an interest rate hike. The central bank, which is set to announce its decision at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, is by no means expected to raise interest rates in the future. Investors are also awaiting earnings from tech giants, which are supposed to be published today. Strong economic data coupled with an improvement in quarterly earnings have brought wall street to Record Highs within the past two weeks.
“Earnings continue to beat expectations on an adjusted basis but I think the markets will wait to hear what central bankers have to say tomorrow,” said senior vice president John Brady, of R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago. “While investors do not seem to care that earnings have been lower, the U.S. equity market remains the tallest midget in the crowd.”
Out of the 129 S&P 500 companies that reported their earnings on Monday, 68 percent of them top expert’s predictions. Normally, only 63 top expectations, according to official data. At the end of the morning trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 5.55 points, or 0.03 percent at 18,498.61. Half of the components that reported results were lower. The S&P 500 index .SPX gained 2.2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2170.68. The Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC gained 8.66 or 0.17 percent, to 5,106.29. Seven of the 10 S&P sectors ended higher, which was led by a 0.5 percent rise in tech stocks.
“Investors have had the opportunity to drink from a fire hydrant of information,” said senior portfolio manager Eric Wiegand, of the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. “But the appetite is likely to increase when markets close today and after the Fed’s comments on interest rates tomorrow.”