Market Watch: Fed, Oil Prices In Focus


U.S. stocks were slightly higher in futures trading Wednesday morning, as investors prepared for a long day of data reports.

Oil prices started the morning lower after the American Petroleum Institute reported that weekly crude stocks rose by more than 12 million barrels. A separate report indicated that American consumers can expect the lowest summer gas prices since 2009.

This afternoon, the Federal Reserve will take center stage when the minutes of their March policy meeting are released at 2 p.m. Experts have criticized the market’s over-reliance on the Fed’s interest-rate policy, so investors will keep a close eye on the language in the statement.

After the closing bell comes the unofficial start to a dreaded earnings season. Many believe that the strength of the dollar and the harsh winter weather will become painfully evident, as many companies have modified their earnings expectations downward.

When the opening bell rings on Wall Street, these will be the starting numbers:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,875.42

NASDAQ: 4,910.23

S&P 500: 2,076.33


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