Wednesday July 26th


US earnings week in full swing as Boeing, Coca-Cola report; Fed decision expected

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday, as investors parsed through another batch of major earnings while awaiting a statement by the Federal Reserve. Dow futures rose 50 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures gained 3.5 points and 4.5 points, respectively. Boeing, Coca-Cola, Ford and Hershey are among the companies that reported before the bell. Whole Foods, Facebook and PayPal are some of the major names set to release earnings after the close. On the central bank front, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to begin the second day of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, where the U.S. central bank is expected to continue to examine the state of the U.S. economy, and talk about what they should do next when it comes to strategy, their balance sheet and interest rates. The U.S. central bank is set to publish its statement at 2 p.m. ET. Aside from the FOMC decision, mortgage applications data is set to come out at 7.00 a.m. ET, followed by new home sales at 10.00 a.m. ET. On Tuesday night, a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare failed to acquire the 60 votes it needed to be approved, with only 43 voting in favor, according to Reuters. 57 voted against the measure. In the commodities space, prices posted solid gains during trade, on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. stocks while an uptick in shale oil production showed signs of decelerating. At 7:47 a.m. ET on Wednesday, oil prices traded higher with U.S. crude hovering around $48.31, while Brent stood around $50.52 per barrel. In Europe, bourses were trading in the black in morning trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a relatively mixed to positive note. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.48 percent, or 94.96 points, to close at 20,050.16 as shares of Japanese automakers contributed to gains after Mitsubishi Motors beat earnings expectations. South Korea's benchmark Kospi index erased gains made early in the trading session to close lower by 0.22 percent, or 5.39 points, at 2,434.51. Greater China markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.29 percent by 3:09 p.m. HK/SIN. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite finished the session higher by 0.12 percent, or 3.8940 points, at 3,247.5834, after dipping below the flat line earlier in the session. The Shenzhen Composite slid 0.296 percent, or 5.4691 points, to close at 1,843.1231. Gold dipped on Wednesday as the dollar firmed ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision and investors opted to sell bonds and buy equities as worries over a worldwide growth slowdown fade. Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,246.76 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for August delivery fell 0.4 percent to $1,246.50 per ounce.