© Reuters. A man walks by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Building in New York City
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) -The Dow and the Nasdaq were set to open lower on Wednesday after a mixed bag of earnings from big technology firms and downbeat Boeing (NYSE:) results, while investors hoped that the Federal Reserve would stick to its promise of keeping monetary policy loose.
Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) met quarterly sales expectations and beat profit estimates, but its shares fell 2.7% in premarket trading on skepticism about one-off benefits included in the results and high hopes after a year-long rally.
Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc jumped 5.1% on reporting record profit for the second consecutive quarter and a $50 billion share buyback but warned a surge in usage and ad sales during the pandemic may slow as people resume in-person activities.
Meanwhile, the U.S. central bank’s policy statement is expected to largely follow the mold established in December, when the Fed said it would not change monetary policy until there had been “substantial further progress” in meeting its maximum employment and 2% inflation goals. The statement is due at 2 p.m. EDT.
“Investors will get what they are expecting, which is continued super dovish comments from the Fed,” said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity strategist at MAI Capital Management in Cleveland.
“If there is any change from that stand, it’ll be a big deal for the markets, but that is unlikely.”
The benchmark rose to its highest in more than two weeks. [US/]
At 8:17 a.m. ET, were down 76 points, or 0.22%, were up 0.25 points, or 0.01%, and were down 24 points, or 0.17%.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Monday completed a full recovery from its 11% correction that began in February, largely supported by a rise in megacap stocks and ebbing inflation fears.
Boeing Co fell 1.6% after posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, even as it reported an improvement in aircraft deliveries as its 737 MAX jets come back on line.
Biotech Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:) fell 4.0% as it said its first-quarter sales and profit fell due to a 7% drop in its net drug prices and a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the top U.S. companies, including Qualcomm (NASDAQ:) Inc, Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:) and Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:), are reporting their first-quarter earnings this week.
Later in the day, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) is expected to report a rise in first-quarter revenue, while Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) is expected to post a more than 32% jump in second-quarter revenue. Shares of Facebook rose 2.2%, while Apple added 0.1%.
First-quarter overall earnings per share for companies are expected to jump 35% from a year earlier, which would be the biggest surge since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to unveil a sweeping $1.8 trillion package for families and education in his first joint speech to Congress, senior White House officials say.
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