1. Fed rate decision: All eyes are on the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to raise interest rates at the end of its meeting on Wednesday.
It would be the Fed’s second rate hike since December, and a decision that affects millions of Americans who have a credit card, savings account, investments, or want to buy a home or a car.
America is still adding jobs at a healthy clip, unemployment is low and wage growth continues to gain momentum. Those positive trends clear the way for the Fed to raise rates further.
The rate announcement will come at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference by chair Janet Yellen at 2:30 p.m.
2. Dutch election: Voters in the Netherlands are heading to the polls Wednesday after a campaign dominated by debates over immigration and the country’s relationship with the European Union.
Investors have remained calm throughout the contentious campaign, largely because the party of far-right candidate Geert Wilders has little chance of gaining a majority in parliament.
The difference in yields on Dutch and German government bonds has narrowed this week, suggesting that traders see less risk in the Netherlands. The euro was up 0.3% against the dollar early Wednesday.
3. Oil’s wild ride: U.S. crude futures have rolled back some of the losses suffered in recent days, adding nearly 2% on Wednesday to trade at $ 48.60 per barrel.
Saudi Arabia — OPEC’s biggest producer — said on Tuesday that it is “committed and determined to stabilizing the global oil market,” according to the Kingdom’s official press agency.
A new report from the International Energy Agency shows that global oil supplies rose by 260,000 barrels in February, as both OPEC and non-OPEC producers pumped more crude.
The latest data on U.S. crude inventories will be published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration 10:30 a.m.
4. Market overview:U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday.
Gold rallied overnight to climb back above $ 1200 per ounce.
Mining and energy stocks got a boost from the rebound in oil prices Wednesday, with Rio Tinto(, )BP( and )Glencore( rising around 2% in London. )Chesepeake Energy( was up 1.4% in U.S. premarket trading. )
5. Earnings and economics:Guess( and )Oracle(Tech30) are set to release earnings after the close. ,
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its February inflation report at 8:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
6. Coming this week:
Wednesday – Fed expected to announce rate hike; Election in The Netherlands
Thursday – Trump travel ban takes effect; Dollar General reports earnings Friday– G20 meeting for finance ministers and central bankers