Market Anticipation: Stocks Inch Higher Ahead of Fed Decision – Daily Stock Market News

US stocks opened higher on Wednesday as Wall Street prepared for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later in the day. The S&P 500 rose by 0.13%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.17%, and Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.18% at the opening. The Federal Reserve started a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, which is widely anticipated to end with a quarter-point interest rate hike, marking the first time since the lead-up to the global financial crisis. The announcement is expected at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, with Chairman Jerome Powell holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The Federal Reserve should pause interest rate hikes as inflation and labor market soften, says Senior Market Analyst at OANDA, Craig Erlam, suggests that the Federal Reserve should pause interest rate hikes, especially when there are indications of the labor market softening and inflation easing. The commentary comes ahead of the interest rate decision for the Federal Reserve later today. Also, investors in the banking sector are experiencing fears despite the sale of First Republic Bank’s assets to JPMorgan on Monday. Separately, private hiring unexpectedly rose in April, with 296,000 jobs added, compared to the economists’ call for 148,000, based on the latest data from payroll processing firm ADP. Additionally, the ISM services PMI increased to 51.9, higher than the economists’ estimates of 51.8. This data led to a rise in the S&P 500 regional banking index after falling on Tuesday, and individual regional bank stocks such as PacWest Bancorp saw rises of over 7%.

The latest news from Yahoo Finance indicates trending tickers among the most discussed stocks by investors. Ford Motor Company experienced a $722 million quarterly loss, yet it is slashing prices of its all-electric Mustang Mach-E. CVS Health Corporation announced a rise in sales after closing its $10.6 billion Oak Street Health deal. Starbucks Corporation is likely to meet its second-quarter earnings and sales expectations and delivered comparable-store sales growth in China. In contrast, Carl Icahn’s fund got the Hindenburg Research treatment, which deemed it to be inflated by 75% or more. The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. predict a decline in full-year sales and profits due to a slowdown in China and reduced inventory levels by U.S. retailers. Meanwhile, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. reports a margin drop and an uncertain forecast. Further news reports suggest the economist’s call to pause the interest rate hike, considering the signs of a weakening labor market and easing inflation. Banking sector investors remain fearful despite First Republic Bank’s recent asset sale, and private companies witnessed an unexpected increase in hiring in April according to ADP payroll processing firm data. Finally, the ISM Services PMI exceeded economists’ estimates only slightly.