Stock market aims for 5th day of gains as investors await Fed minutes – MarketWatch

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U.S. stock-index futures pointed to slight gains at the open on Wednesday, through trading was likely to be subdued ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting, which could quell doubts about a June interest-rate increase.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMM7, +0.04%  added 13 points to 20,928, while those for the S&P 500 index ESM7, +0.02%  inched 0.50 point higher to 2,398.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQM7, +0.16%  put on 9.5 points, or 0.2%, to 5,721.

If the S&P 500 SPX, +0.18%  and Dow average DJIA, +0.21%  close higher on Wednesday, it’ll mark their longest winning streak since February. Both benchmarks ended higher on Tuesday, along with the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.08% At current levels, all three are mere points from record levels.

Caution was also elevated on Wednesday after Moody’s Investors Service cut China’s foreign credit rating for the first in nearly three decades. However, stocks in China erased losses and closed slightly higher, while European stocks also shook off early weakness and traded in positive territory.

Economic news: Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s May 2-3 meeting “will provide the largest event risk amid a quiet data calendar,” Prashant Newnaha, rates strategist at TD Securities, said in a note.

“We look for the minutes to reinforce the relatively hawkish policy statement with references to a robust labor market and a solid growth outlook,” he said.

“We will also be on alert for any discussion of changes to the Fed’s reinvestment policy, the discussion around which has grown more prominent in recent months, and market pricing for a June rate hike,” he added.

Read: Fed minutes may quell doubt about a June interest-rate hike

Financial markets are currently pricing in an 83% probability of a rate in June, according to CME’s FedWatch tool. The Fed minutes are due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

In other central bank events on Wednesday, Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will participate in a moderated discussion at the C.D. House Institute Annual dinner in Toronto, Canada at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari participates in a town hall discussion in Ashland, Wis., at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Also on the economic docket on Wednesday, existing home sales for April are due at 10 a.m.

See: MarketWatch’s economic calendar

Stock movers: Shares of Bunge Ltd. BG, +16.60%  lost 6.4% in thin premarket trade, pulling back from a 17% rally on Tuesday after news commodities giant Glencore PLC GLEN, +0.22% GLCNF, -2.58% 0805, -1.01%  had approached the grain trader about a potential takeover.

Nvidia Corp. NVDA, -1.35%  was up 3% ahead of the bell, after Bloomberg reported that Japanese SoftBank Group Corp. 9984, +0.05%  has amassed a $4 billion stake in the chip maker.

Shares of Lowe’s Cos. LOW, -2.03%  slid 4.4% before the open after the home-improvement retailer posted quarterly sales and adjusted earnings that fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts.

Tiffany & Co. TIF, -0.57%  reported profit ahead of expectations, but same-store sales unexpectedly fell, sending shares down 4.7% in premarket action.

Earnings from Advance Auto Parts Inc. AAP, -4.55%  missed forecasts by a wide mark, but shares were unchanged ahead of the open.

Container Store Group Inc. TCS, -0.95%  soared 37% ahead of the bell after its earnings out late Tuesday showed profits doubled in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Other markets: Oil prices CLN7, -0.37%  were little changed as traders await a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers on Thursday that’s expected to produce an agreement to extend output cuts.

Metals prices were mostly lower, with gold GCM7, -0.25%  off 0.3% at $1,251.70 an ounce.

The ICE dollar index DXY, +0.01%  was down less than 0.1% at 97.31.

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