S&P 500 futures advanced Wednesday night as investors looked beyond the latest interest rate hike and commentary from the Federal Reserve.
Futures tied to the broad index added 0.5%. Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.1%, helped by Meta shares. Futures connected to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked down 10 points, trading near flat.
Meta surged more than 19% in extended trading after reporting a fourth-quarter beat on revenue and announcing a $40 billion stock buyback. That helped investors look past losses in the business unit overseeing the metaverse.
The moves follow a positive day for the three major indexes. The S&P 500 reversed losses to end the regular session with a jump of 1.05%, while the Nasdaq Composite closed 2% higher. Meanwhile, the Dow eked out a narrow 0.02% gain after dropping more than 500 points earlier in the day.
Investors closely watched the Fed meeting Wednesday, where a 0.25 percentage point interest rate hike was announced. That marked a pull back from the 0.5 percentage point increase at December’s meeting, bolstering investor optimism that inflation is cooling enough for the central bank to take notice. But the bank gave no indication of an upcoming pause in rate hikes.
“Traders think the Fed is behind the curve and that inflation threat is receding rapidly,” said Jamie Dutta, market analyst at Vantage. “The Fed is open to changing its mind and may have to if the economy loses momentum.”
Investors will watch Thursday for earnings reports from household names including Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Ford Motor and Starbucks. They will also look for data on jobless claims, productivity, labor costs and factory orders.
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