U.S. Stocks May Open Higher Ahead Of Fed Announcement

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After ending the previous session narrowly mixed, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 201 points.

Stocks may stage another rebound attempt after buying interest waned over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, leading to a lackluster close.

The Dow ended the previous session at its lowest closing level in three months, with the major averages all showing notable decreases for September.

Trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

The Fed is widely expected to leave monetary policy unchanged but could provide guidance for its plans to begin scaling back its asset purchases.

The central bank previously signaled it could start tapering by the end of the year, although some disappointing economic data could lead the Fed to push back its plans.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association Of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on existing home sales in the month of August. Existing home sales are expected to drop to an annual rate of 5.89 million in August from 5.99 million in July.

Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Tuesday following the sell-off seen during trading on Monday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing narrowly mixed.

While the Nasdaq rose 32.50 points or 0.2 percent to 14,746.40, the Dow dipped 50.63 points or 0.2 percent to 33,919.84 and the S&P 500 edged down 3.54 points or 0.1 percent to 4,354.19. The Dow ended the session at its lowest closing level in three months.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.7 percent, while China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index are up by 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.82 to $71.31 a barrel after rising $0.35 to $70.49 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,774.50, down $3.70 compared to the previous session's close of $1,778.20. On Tuesday, gold climbed $14.40.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.51 yen compared to the 109.23 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1730 compared to yesterday's $1.1726.

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