As the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meeting draws near, markets seem ready to adopt a wait-and-watch stance even as the earnings season continues unabated.
U.S. stocks seem to be set for a range-bound start on Tuesday as indicated by futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which were up 0.14 percent while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.07 percent, and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.21 percent.
On Tuesday’s earnings calendar, Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO), Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE:JCI), Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) are among the companies set to announce their quarterly statements before market hours.
After market hours, the line-up includes LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD), The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE:KIM), and Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA).
While earnings of these corporate majors could influence markets, investors are also expected to play it safe ahead of the FOMC’s meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. EDT, when the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to leave policy rates unchanged. However, the crucial aspect of the meeting’s outcome would be the Fed’s take on the future of the nation’s economic health, its monetary policy and the fate of the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying stimulus program.
In Europe too, markets remained cautious ahead of the FOMC meeting, but encouraging numbers from oil giant BP PLC (NYSE:BP) helped buoy stocks. The Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.27 percent and London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.48 percent. Germany's DAX-30 was up 0.21 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.34 percent.
In Asia, markets mostly dipped lower ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC meeting in the U.S. Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.49 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.48 percent and South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.18 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.18 percent while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.24 percent.
India’s benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day up 1.74 percent after the country’s central bank raised a key interest rate for the second time in succession to battle rising inflation.