Stock futures drift higher ahead of Fed policy meeting: Live updates

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), July 26, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Stock futures traded slightly higher early Tuesday as Wall Street readied for the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day September policy meeting.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 43 points, or 0.12%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.14% and 0.12% respectively.

The major averages are coming off a largely flat session, with the S&P 500 inching up 0.07%. The Nasdaq Composite eked out a 0.01% gain, while the 30-stock Dow edged up 0.02%, or 6.06 points.

“The overall market feels a little bit choppier than we’ve seen for the first nine months of this year,” Ankur Crawford, a portfolio manager at Alger, said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Monday. “China, that was supposed to work and supposed to come out of Covid … the U.S. consumer is showing signs of a little bit more pressure. So we’re heading into choppier markets, and that’s basically just waterfalling into tech.”

The Fed is not expected to raise rates this week, with traders pricing in a 99% probability that the central bank skips a hike, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool, a gauge of pricing in fed funds futures. Traders are putting just a 29% chance of a hike in November as of early Tuesday.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors finished Monday’s session positive, led by energy, with a 0.7% gain. Consumer discretionary was the worst-performing sector, falling about 1%.

Wall Street will parse through a light batch of economic data Tuesday, with preliminary building permits for August and housing starts due out before the bell. AutoZone is slated to report earnings before the bell.

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