U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Apple; Jobs Weaken Kiwi: Markets Wrap

U.S. equity futures advanced after Apple Inc.’s upbeat forecast, with traders expecting lower than average volumes for global stocks on Wednesday due to holiday closures in much of Asia and Europe. The New Zealand dollar sank after hiring unexpectedly declined.

Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes were lifted as Apple’s sales forecast topped analyst projections. That points to a rebound for American technology shares after a revenue miss at Alphabet Inc. triggered its worst day in more than five years. Australian shares rose and U.K. equity futures indicated gains when stocks start trading in London. Treasury futures were steady and the dollar edged up ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision.

The main focus Wednesday will be Jerome Powell’s press conference, with Fed officials expected to keep interest rates on hold and express concern over muted inflation. Corporate earnings and developments in the trade conflict between U.S. and China remain front and center, with bullish investors looking for fresh reasons to push the S&P 500 Index higher after closing Tuesday at a record.

“We expect the Fed to reiterate their still patient stance, as they announced at the start of the year, and reaffirm their position to the sideline,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., told Bloomberg TV. “We also expect the Fed to re-characterize their expectation for growth at a somewhat tempered level, but still very positive.”

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