Markets are 'eerily quiet' ahead of the Fed

Markets are sitting tight ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

Near 7:38 a.m. ET, stock futures were a bit higher, with Dow futures up 26, S&P 500 futures up 4, and Nasdaq futures up 13 — all by about 0.2%.

Treasuries were also quiet, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year treasury note up just about one basis point near 2.04%.

The FOMC concludes its two-day meeting today and will release its policy statement.

In a morning note to clients, BMO’s Aaron Kohli captured expectations for this afternoon:

“The markets are eerily calm ahead of the FOMC statement today, with the Fed Funds futures market anticipating only a 4% chance of a hike. We have a hard time disagreeing with the market on that point, but beyond the obvious fact of no hike, we also expect some upgrades to the assessment of inflation and employment in addition to acknowledgment of some of the recent weakness of US data.”

In short, we probably won’t hear anything new.

Before then, the advance goods trade balance at 8:30 a.m. is the only thing that’s on the economic data deck. This comes ahead of the first estimate of third-quarter GDP on Thursday morning.

Apple shares are up about 1% pre-market, following yesterday evening’s earnings results that beat forecasts on the top and bottom lines. IPhone and iPad unit sales were a bit light.

Twitter was down nearly 10%, after the company reported slower-than-expected growth of active users on Tuesday.

Also yesterday, Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed reports that it was buying Rite Aid. Walgreens will pay $US9 per share in a deal that’s valued at $US17.2 billion, including debt.

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