Stock futures edge slightly higher ahead of final Fed meeting of 2023: Live updates –

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, USA, December 7, 2023.

Brendan Mcdermid | Portal

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher on Sunday evening as investors await the Federal Reserve’s final meeting of 2023 this week for signals on when central bankers will begin cutting interest rates.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22 points, or 0.06%. S&P futures and Nasdaq 100 futures both rose less than 0.1%.

This year’s boom in stocks is widely expected to continue, with investors becoming increasingly optimistic about further gains after noticing recent diversification as part of the rally. Gains in the “Magnificent 7” technology stock group have slowed compared to this year’s laggards such as healthcare and small-cap companies.

The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite both finished on a six-week winning streak on Friday, rising 0.2% and 0.7%, respectively. The Dow, meanwhile, was flat for the week.

Sentiment was also boosted by the central bank’s efforts to reduce inflation, which were more successful than many Fed officials and investors expected. Consumer fears about inflation fell in December while consumer optimism rose, according to the latest University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey released Friday.

During the Fed’s policy meeting on Wednesday, Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to keep the federal funds rate steady in the 5.25% to 5.5% range, where it has been since July. Powell is also expected to reiterate his commitment to lowering inflation in his press conference on Wednesday. CME Group’s FedWatch tool already suggests that markets are pricing in a 45% chance that the Fed will cut interest rates by 0.25 percentage points in March

“Investors should hope that we stay at the higher levels where we are now for longer, and the Fed could just pause, snooze for a while while the market gets used to the higher interest rates we’ve had over the last year and a half or so “,” Ken Mahoney, CEO of Mahoney Asset Management, told CNBC earlier this week.

Investors are also looking ahead to key inflation data that could impact market moves and the Fed’s rate-cutting decisions. The consumer price index for November will be released on Tuesday, while the producer price index is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

Oracle will report earnings on Monday, Adobe on Wednesday and major retailer Costco Wholesale on Thursday.