Stocks May Lack Direction As Fed Meeting Begins

After ending the previous session mixed, stocks may continue to experience choppy trading early in the session on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a roughly flat open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by just 10 points.

Traders may be reluctant to make any significant moves as the Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day monetary policy meeting.

The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about future rate hikes.

The looming monthly jobs report and French presidential runoff may also keep traders on the sidelines on the day.

Stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Monday before ending the session mixed. Despite the choppy trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended the session at a new record closing high.

The major averages ended the day on opposite sides of the unchanged line. While the Dow dipped 27.05 points or 0.1 percent to 20,916.46, the Nasdaq climbed 44.00 points or 0.7 percent to 6,091.60 and the S&P 500 rose 4.13 points or 0.2 percent to 2,388.33.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are up by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.22 to $49.06 a barrel after falling $0.49 to $48.84 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after slumping $12.80 to $1,255.50 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $2 to $1,253.50 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 112.26 yen compared to the 111.84 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the…

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