U.S. stock futures hold steady, awaiting further signals from the Federal Reserve – Investing.com

U.S. stock futures hold steady, awaiting further signals from the Federal Reserve – Investing.com

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Investing.com– U.S. stock index futures moved little in evening deals on Tuesday following a positive, tech-fueled session on Wall Street, with focus turning squarely to the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting later in the day. 

Renewed optimism over artificial intelligence, after market darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:) unveiled pricing and shipment details for its new line of AI chips, was a key driver of gains on Wall Street during the session.

But this optimism was largely countered by anticipation of the Fed, which could provide a more hawkish outlook on interest rates following a string of hotter-than-expected inflation readings.

fell 0.05% to 5,239.25 points, while rose 0.03% to 18,276.25 points by 19:16 ET (23:16 GMT). steadied at 39,537.0 points.

Fed meeting, Powell address in focus 

The Fed is set to conclude a two-day meeting later on Wednesday, with markets broadly expecting the central bank to . 

But the bank’s statement on monetary policy, along with a post-meeting by Chair Jerome Powell, will be closely watched for any cues on interest rate cuts.

Hotter-than-expected inflation prints for January and February spurred fears that the Fed could trim its outlook for rate cuts in 2024, given that it has repeatedly signaled that the path of inflation will drive any loosening in monetary policy. 

Sticky inflation, coupled with recent signs of resilience in the U.S. economy, gives the Fed more headroom to keep rates higher for longer. 

S&P 500 squeezes out record high on tech, energy strength 

The clocked a record closing high on Tuesday, rising 0.6% to 5,178.51 points. The rose 0.4% to 16,166.79 points, while the finished up 0.8% at 39,110.76 points.

Gains were driven chiefly by Nvidia, while energy stocks including Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:) and Chevron Corp (NYSE:) rose tracking strength in oil prices. 

U.S. stock indexes still remained in sight of recent intraday record highs, buoyed by optimism over AI and signs of resilience in the U.S. economy. 

Nvidia falls in aftermarket trade

Nvidia fell 0.5% after the bell, having marked a series of volatile sessions, amid some doubts over whether it could meet its AI-driven ambitions.

The stock surged over 200% in valuation through 2023, also making it vulnerable to some profit-taking, especially as sentiment grew cautious before the Fed.

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