US STOCKS-Wall St set to open subdued ahead of Fed policy meet, Instacart debut
Investors are also focused on the two-day Fed meeting that will start later in the day, with the central bank expected to hold benchmark interest rate at the current 5.25%-5.50% range on Wednesday. Recent economic data has signaled that core inflation is crawling toward the Fed's 2% target, though crude prices gaining for three consecutive weeks to around 10-month highs remains a concern.
Wall Street's main indexes were poised for a subdued open on Tuesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, with investors awaiting grocery delivery app Instacart's Nasdaq debut to assess a potential recovery in the IPO market.
Instacart parent Maplebear Inc secured a fully diluted valuation of $9.9 billion on Monday after its IPO was priced at $30 per share, the top of its indicated price range. Chip designer Arm Holdings had a stellar market debut last week, raising hopes of a revival in the initial public offering (IPO) market after a near 18-month dry spell.
Arm and Instacart could drive others to go public, though it is still a difficult environment for IPOs with interest rates high and the economy slowing, said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield. Arm fell 4.3% in premarket trading after announcing its IPO had closed and that underwriters had exercised full over-allotment option of 7 million American Depositary Shares.
The stock's options began trading at a brisk pace on Monday, with many investors positioning for further downside. Investors are also focused on the two-day Fed meeting that will start later in the day, with the central bank expected to hold benchmark interest rate at the current 5.25%-5.50% range on Wednesday.
Recent economic data has signaled that core inflation is crawling toward the Fed's 2% target, though crude prices gaining for three consecutive weeks to around 10-month highs remains a concern. "For the most part, people believe that the Fed will be on hold at this meeting and would like to believe that they are on hold at the next meeting, but they're a little bit unsure and that's why you have a market that keeps sort of shopping around," Pavlik added.
Investors will closely monitor the Fed's quarterly report on economic projections to gauge participating members' longer-term policy outlook. Economic data has largely indicated that the U.S. economy remains resilient, boosting the hopes for a soft landing and allaying concerns of a possible recession.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters that a "soft-landing" scenario for the U.S. economy can withstand near-term risks including a United Auto Workers strike, a government shutdown threat, a resumption of student loan payments and spillovers from China's economic woes. Traders have fully priced in a pause by the Fed on Wednesday, while chances of interest rates remaining unchanged in November stood at 71%, according to CME's FedWatch tool.
At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 31 points, or 0.09%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 30.25 points, or 0.2%. Block Inc fell 1.8% as Alyssa Henry, CEO of the fintech firm's unit, Square, will exit the company where she has worked for more than nine years.
CVS Health Corp gained 1.2% after Evercore ISI upgraded the U.S. pharmacy chain to "outperform" from "in line". Intel shares added 0.7% ahead of the chipmaker's two-day developers' event that kicks off later in the day.
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