Stocks finish lower as Wall Street braces for key Fed decision

Pro Picks: Watch all of Tuesday's big stock calls on CNBC
Pro Picks: Watch all of Tuesday's big stock calls on CNBC

Stocks dipped on Tuesday as traders assessed better-than-expected economic data and prepared for another likely rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.75 points, or 0.24%, to 32,653.20, while the S&P 500 slid 0.41% to 3,856.10. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.89% to 10,890.85.

All the major averages opened higher but turned negative after job openings in September showed a resilient labor market. The news heightened fears that the central bank may keep its aggressive stance as it fights to tame high inflation.

"Any time you get good news, the market doesn't like it because it just means that the Fed is probably going to be tightening more and potentially for longer," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. "We're still in the bad news is good news cycle."

Tuesday marked the start of the Fed's November meeting, which many expect will result in a 75 basis point interest rate hike on Wednesday. Investors will monitor the central bank's statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference for signs of a slowing tightening pace.

Some losses were mitigated Tuesday as a better-than-feared earnings season continued with a strong report from Pfizer. Uber shares popped nearly 12% on a revenue beat. Companies this season have grappled with high inflation, rising rates and a strong dollar.

Wall Street is coming off a strong month of gains. The Dow rallied nearly 14% in October, its biggest monthly advance since January 1976 as investors rotated out of technology and into stalwarts like banks. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite added about 8% and 3.9%, respectively.

Lea la cobertura del mercado de hoy en español aquí.

Almost three quarters of Tuesday's 52-week highs in S&P 500 were records

Almost three quarters (71.4%) of the 21 stocks making 52-week highs in the S&P 500 Tuesday also set all-time records. One, Chevron, is also in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. 

Seven S&P 500 stocks set new 52-week lows.

New S&P 500 52-Week Highs:

  • T-Mobile US (TMUS) — all-time high back to the MetroPCS IPO in 2007
  • Campbell Soup (CPB) — highest since Jan. 2021
  • Chevron (CVX) — all-time high back to 2000 Texaco merger
  • MetLife (MET) — all-time high back to going public in 2000
  • Principal Financial (PFG) — all-time high back to 2001 IPO
  • Raymond James Financial (RJF) — all-time high back to 1983 IPO
  • W.R. Berkley Corp (WRB) — all-time high back to going public in early 1970s
  • ABIOMED, Inc. (ABMD) — highest since Jan. 2021
  • Biogen (BIIB) —highest since Oct. 2021
  • Cummins Inc (CMI) — highest since June 2021
  • WW Grainger (GWW) — all-time high going back to start of trading in 1967
  • Rollins Inc (ROL) — highest since Nov. 2020
  • Constellation Energy (CEG) — all-time high going back to spin-off from Exelon in Jan. 2022
  • Marathon Petroleum (MPC) — all-time high going back to spinoff from Marathon Oil in June 2011
  • Progressive (PGR) — all-time high back to 1971 IPO
  • Everest RE Group (RE) all-time high back to Oct. 1995 IPO
  • Cigna (CI) — all-time high back to 1972 IPO
  • Regeneron Pharma (REGN) — all-time high back to 1991 IPO
  • Huntington Ingalls (HII) — highest since Feb. 2020
  • Lockheed Martin (LMT) — all-time high back to merger of Martin Marietta and Lockheed in 1995
  • Corteva (CTVA) — all-time high back to spin-off from DowDuPont in May 2019

New S&P 500 52-Week Lows:

  • Alphabet A and C shares (GOOG/GOOGL) —lowest since Jan. 2021
  • (AMZN) — lowest since April 2020
  • Newell Brand (NWL) — lowest since June 2020
  • SVB Financial Group (SIVB) — lowest since Sept. 2020
  • Sealed Air (SEE) — lowest since March 2021
  • Catalent (CTLT)— lowest since April 2020
  • Zebra Technologies (ZBRA) — lowest since Sept. 2020

— Scott Schnipper, Christopher Hayes

Stocks close lower

Stocks finished lower as markets prepared for another Fed rate decision due out Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.75 points, or 0.24%, to 32,653.20, while the S&P 500 slid 0.41% to 3,856.10. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.89% to 10,890.85.

— Samantha Subin

A Fed pivot is far off, says New York Life's Goodwin

Investors may be getting a bit too excited about potential changes from the Federal Reserve, according to Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments.

Goodwin said in a note that she expected the Fed to hike by 0.75 of a percentage point on Wednesday and half a point in December, but that the slowdown should not be seen as the start of a big shift from the central bank.

"A Fed pause is not the same as a pivot. Certainly, deteriorating economic and credit conditions could cause the Fed to pivot modestly at some point, but a full pivot into accommodative territory is highly unlikely in the next year," Goodwin said in a note.

Goodwin pointed out that the first rate hikes should now start to show their impact across the broad economy, instead of just housing. However, the Fed will need several months of data to go its way before changing course.

"At this point, with inflation surprising as much as it has already, the Fed will want to see clear signs of reversal in wage growth before pivoting. Recession should be considered a base case rather than a risk," Goodwin said.

— Jesse Pound

This contrarian indicator from Bank of America signals gains from stocks

A reliable contrarian indicator is close to flashing a strong buy signal.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Sell Side Indicator, based on a survey of Wall Street strategists' asset allocation recommendations, has reached its lowest level since early 2017. The bank said historically, when the indicator was at current levels or lower, subsequent 12-month S&P 500 returns were positive 94% of the time and the median 12-month return was 22%.

"Equity sentiment resumes its descent toward a 'Buy' signal," Savita Subramanian, Bank of America Securities' head of U.S. equity and quantitative strategy, said in a note. "We have found that Wall Street's consensus equity allocation has historically been a reliable contrarian indicator."

— Yun Li

Communication services, consumer discretionary stocks fall

Stocks tied to communication services and consumer discretionary were among the worst performers during Tuesday's session.

As of 3 p.m. EST, both S&P 500 sectors were on pace to close more than 1% lower on the day.

Shares of Alphabet and Netflix shed more than 3% and 1%, respectively. Amazon's stock tumbled nearly 6%. Consumer-focused stocks including Newell Brands, Etsy and Royal Caribbean also moved lower.

— Samantha Subin

Final trading hour begins

Stocks kicked off the final hour on pace for another day of losses.

The Dow shed 39 points, or 0.12%, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.2%. The Nasdaq lost 0.5%.

— Samantha Subin

Strong labor data suggests higher rates will persist, Oanda's Moya says

A solid labor market suggests rates will likely stay elevated for longer, said Oanda's Ed Moya.

"Rates might need to stay higher for longer if the labor market is still healthy and inflation ends up being stickier than markets are initially thinking," he wrote in a note to clients Tuesday, saying that calls for a Fed pivot are "premature."

Following Tuesday's strong jobs opening data, Moya anticipates a hawkish tone from Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference Wednesday.

Persisting wage pressures will also make it difficult for inflation to ease, while more job openings suggest the economy is far from slowing, he said.

"The Fed downshift trade could blow up if the labor market refuses to break," Moya said.

— Samantha Subin

Bear market won't end until company earnings get bleaker, Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson says

Though the short-term market outlook is optimistic heading into the midterm elections, the bottom won't hit until corporate earnings slide further, according to Mike Wilson, chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley.

"We don't think we're going to get enough capitulation," he said of the current earnings season on CNBC's "Halftime Report."

Wilson said recent the recent market movement makes sense following a mixed bag of earnings, but a "reprieve" from hurt companies reporting means the bear market likely isn't over. He said the current earnings season does not say anything about what the market will look like next year.

Still, Wilson predicts the market will look "way better" next year while corporate earnings will be worse. He also said he could see a market low setting in the first quarter of next year if corporate earnings move lower with three "good" quarters following.

Wilson was recently named the best portfolio strategist in an Institutional Investor survey.

— Alex Harring

Barclays concerned by recent pace of risk asset rally

Risk assets have staged a good run over the last few weeks, but the pace of the rally is problematic, according to Barclays.

"We believe risk assets have now rallied too much, too soon," wrote the bank's global chairman of research Ajay Rajadhyaksha. "After two weeks being tactically neutral, we recommend shorting risk assets again."

Stocks staged a massive comeback recently in anticipation of a potential Fed swivel, but markets are acting overly optimistic given that the recent data hasn't shown a stark shift in inflation, Rajadhyaksha said.

"Risk assets have rallied strongly on anticipation of a pivot by central banks," he wrote. "We think this is by no means clear from recent data; markets seem too optimistic."

— Samantha Subin

Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Uber, Abiomed and more

Stocks continued moving with earnings season in full swing.

Uber jumped 12% after the company reported revenue that exceeded Wall Street's expectations and gave better-than-anticipated guidance for its fourth quarter. It projected strong bookings growth and adjusted EBITDA of $600 million to $630 million compared to an analyst estimate of $568 million in adjusted EBITDA.

Abiomed surged 50% after the company announced it has agreed to be acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $16.6 billion in cash.

Goodyear Tire fell 13% after the tire company's earnings fell short of expectations due in part to higher costs and a surging dollar.

See the full list here.

— Alex Harring

Meta Platforms, Snap jump as FCC commissioner reportedly calls on government to ban TikTok

Shares of Snap and Meta Platforms popped following an Axios report that an FCC commissioner is reportedly calling on the government to ban TikTok.

Snap's stock jumped 4%, while Meta Platforms added about 3%.

— Samantha Subin

Here's how consumer loan costs have leapt since the Fed started hiking rates in March

Borrowing costs have spiraled higher since the Federal Reserve kicked off its rate-hiking campaign in March, eventually bringing mortgage rates to historic highs. Just last week, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage cracked levels last seen in April 2002, according to Freddie Mac: 7.08%. 

The cost adds up over time: The total amount of interest paid on a $350,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at that 7.08% rate would be nearly $500,000, according to an amortization schedule from Bankrate. That's compared to $250,000 in interest expense back when rates were 3.85% in March.

As the Fed prepares to raise interest rates by another 0.75 percentage point on Wednesday, here are other areas of consumer finance that have since become more expensive.

Credit card debt costs are expected to rise, too. The expense of these debts has already climbed $20.4 billion due to this year's Fed rate hikes, WalletHub found. This could rise by another $5.1 billion this year if the central bank raises its target by 75 basis points this week.

Borrowing has become more expensive for consumers in a matter of months

Type of loan Week of March 11 (%) Week of Oct. 28 (%) Bps change Source
30-year fixed-rate mortgage3.857.08323Freddie Mac
Home equity loan5.967.38142Bankrate
$30K HELOC4.277.3303Bankrate
Credit card16.3418.73239Bankrate
Used vehicle APR*9.1110.33122Edmunds
New vehicle APR*5.236.27104Edmunds
Effective fed funds rate0.083.08300NY Fed

Data points for used and new vehicle APRs are monthly and are recent as of September.

Darla Mercado, Nick Wells

Fed pivot will trigger a 'significant' recession, Wolfe Research's Senyek says

A shift from the Federal Reserve's hawkish monetary tightening stance could push the economy into a "significant" recession, according to Wolfe Research's Chris Senyek.

What happens next depends on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's tone come Wednesday, with a more dovish stance likely to fuel some near-term upside for markets, he wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.

"However, even if this is the case, the Fed is on track to undertake the sharpest tightening cycle since the 1970s," he said. "In our view, this is almost guaranteed to spark a significant (not shallow) recession."

Senyek also doesn't expect the Federal Open Market Committee cut rates until inflation shows it's easing back down to its long-term 2% target.

Markets have rallied over the past few weeks as investors bet the Fed is preparing for a policy pivot.

"The market appears to be defining a "pivot" as a downshift from +75bps hikes to +50bps increases in December & February," he said.

— Samantha Subin

Strong JOLTS should dash hopes of Fed pivot, Lazard's Temple says

After a strong job openings and labor turnover survey — also known as JOLTS —on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve is likely to stay on its path of aggressive rate hikes.

"Hopes for a Fed dovish pivot are misplaced if today's job openings are any guide," wrote Ron Temple, head of U.S. equity at Lazard Asset Management. "With nearly 1.9 open jobs for each unemployed person, labor market tightness remains a key challenge for controlling inflation."

The JOLTS number and last month's nonfarm payrolls print show that the central bank is far from declaring victory over inflation, he said. That means they can't yet take their foot off the brake.

"Markets may be underestimating where the Fed's terminal rate is and should prepare for further financial tightening," he said.

—Carmen Reinicke

Don't expect a year-end rally, Citi says

Investors shouldn't expect a year-end rally just because they're entering a seasonally strong stretch for markets, according to Citi.

"No year-end rally in our view," Hannah Sheetz wrote in a Tuesday note. "Seasonals are much stronger when returns are positive through October — this year they are not."

Some investors hope that stocks will jump after this month's midterm elections, which could resolve some market uncertainty, according to the note. However, Citi expects that any outperformance could be "just a normal Santa Claus rally in disguise."

Instead, the strength of the winter rally is likely to be weak given lackluster returns during the summer months. Sheetz said any systematic seasonal strategy investors employ will not be as effective as they hope.

"[A] rotation strategy is mildly profitable when applied across asset classes, but that it is unlikely to work this year given weak summer returns," Sheetz wrote.

— Sarah Min

Leon Cooperman says the final bottom is not in yet

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman cautioned that the final bottom of the stock market is yet to come as the economy is poised to hit a recession next year.

The chair and CEO of the Omega Family Office said the market is in a seasonally strong period, but an unfavorable macro environment — the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes, a strong dollar and high oil prices — will still cause a major economic downturn in 2023.

"The market generally drops around 35% from the peak in response to a recession," Cooperman said. "I find many things to do but I really don't like the S&P that much. I don't think the final lows have been hit."

— Yun Li

Expect more leadership from the ‘average stock,’ Strategas’ Verrone says

As Tuesday kicks off the final eight weeks of the year, the leadership of the "average stock" will continue to be a big theme, according to Strategas' Chris Verrone.

"What's been telling about the year is the stability of this trend – the S&P is still off roughly -20% YTD, but the average stock has been the relative winner in both drawdown and rally phases," he said in a note Tuesday.

Defense contractors have been big leaders for much of the year within the industrials sector. Energy "hasn't relinquished its leadership credentials," Verrone added, even with the S&P 500 up 10% or so from its mid-October lows.

"Two pairs that have been seminal in our thinking all year – Tech relative to Energy, and Discretionary relative to Energy – continue to hover near their YTD lows," he said.

— Tanaya Macheel

Commodities advance ahead of Fed meeting

Metals and oil were gaining as investors watched for a less hawkish stance on inflation with the November Fed meeting kicking off Tuesday.

Spot gold was up 1.2%, with gold futures adding 1%. Palladium, silver and platinum jumped 5.5%, 3.9% and 2.3%, respectively.

Oil was also trading up. U.S. West Texas International and Brent Crude added 3.2% and 2.8%, respectively.

— Alex Harring

Treasury sets I savings bond rate at 6.89% for next six months, down from 9.62%

Inflation savings bonds, also known as Series I bonds, will pay 6.89% between Nov. 1 and April 30, the Treasury Department said Tuesday. That's down from the prior rate of 9.62% that ran from May through October.

It's the third highest rate since I bonds were introduced in 1998.

Purchases of the bonds, available through TreasuryDirect, are capped at a maximum $10,000 per person each year, and they must be held for at least one year. After that, the last three months' interest is sacrificed if the bonds are sold back to the Treasury before five years.

— Scott Schnipper, Kate Dore

Job openings jump in September; manufacturing barely in expansion

Job openings rebounded sharply in September, indicating that the labor market is still tight.

The number of employment vacancies totaled 10.72 million for the month, well above the 9.85 million FactSet estimate, according to data Tuesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total was about half a million above the August level.

In other economic data, the ISM Manufacturing index posted a 50.2 reading for October, above the Dow Jones estimate for 50. The index gauges the percentage of business reporting expansion vs. contraction for the month.

—Jeff Cox

U.S. manufacturing output rises, but demand is muted

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.4 for October, down from September's 52 but slightly above the 49.9 expected by Wall Street.

U.S. manufacturers signaled a slight improvement in operating conditions thanks to the easing of supply chain disruptions, but weak demand conditions weighed on growth. New orders fell at the sharpest rate since May 2020.

"Alongside muted domestic demand, new export orders fell sharply as dollar strength and challenging economic conditions across key export markets dampened foreign demand," S&P Global said in a release.

— Michelle Fox

Stocks open higher as November trading begins

Stocks opened higher on Tuesday as a new trading month began.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 212 points, or 0.65%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

— Samantha Subin

November historically one of the strongest months for stocks

The new month of trading kicks off Tuesday and if history is any guide, expect solid gains.

"November has historically been one of the strongest months of the year for U.S. stocks," wrote B. Riley Financial's Art Hogan in a note to clients Tuesday. "The S&P 500 has experienced an average gain of 0.82% with positive returns 69% of the time, according to data going back to 1983."

Over the last decade, the S&P has posted a median gain of 1.26% in November and a positive month nine times, Hogan said.

October, he noted, is typically viewed with apprehension given its reputation as the month for stock market crashes, but it tends to outperform during midterm election years.

"Now traders are holding out hope this October will follow a historical pattern of being a 'bear-market killer' following a turbulent year for equities," he wrote.

— Samantha Subin

Lyft, DoorDash jump after Uber's report

The better-than-expected revenue report from Uber is giving a boost to some of its gig-economy rivals. Shares of Lyft rose more than 8% in premarket trading, while DoorDash jumped 6.8%.

This group of stocks has underperformed this year, as Wall Street has turned away from growth-oriented companies that struggle to turn a profit and grapple with a tight labor market.

However, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC's "Squawk Box" Tuesday that the company is recovering its driver base. The company also issued a higher-than-expected adjusted EBITDA guide for the fourth quarter.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi: We are operating on a cautious basis, but our outlook is strong
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi: We are operating on a cautious basis, but our outlook is strong

— Jesse Pound

U.S.-listed China stocks rise

A slew of U.S.-listed China stocks rose in the premarket on hopes that the country may soon bring an end to its strict zero-Covid policy.

The KraneShares China Internet ETF rose more than 8% in the premarket, putting it on pace for back-to-back gains. In October, the fund suffered its worst month since July 2021, losing 22%.

Shares of Pinduoduo jumped more than 9%, while electric vehicle stock Nio rose 8.3%

The iShares China Large-Cap ETF, which hosts a slew of China-based technology giants such as Alibaba, also rose nearly 6%.

Macau-linked casino stocks were also higher in the premarket, including Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM.

— Samantha Subin, Nicholas Wells

SoFi soars on narrower-than-expected loss

Shares of the fintech company soared more than 13% in premarket trading after posting a smaller-than-expected loss for the recent quarter.

SoFi Technologies posted a loss of 9 cents a share on $419 million in revenue. Analysts had expected a loss of 10 cents a share on revenues of $393 million.

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The company also added roughly 424,000 new members during the quarter, bringing its total members to 4.7 million.

SoFi also upped its revenue outlook for the year

— Samantha Subin

Stocks coming off a record month

As November kicks off, stocks are exiting one of their best months in history.

All the major averages managed to snap a two-month losing streak while the Dow Jones Industrial Average capped off its best month since January 1976.

Here's how the major averages fared in October and where they stand as November trading begins:

Dow Industrial Average:

  • Finished its best month since January 1976
  • Gained 13.95% in October
  • Broke a two-month losing streak
  • Sits 80.42% off its record low, 11.42% from its record high

S&P 500:

  • Gained 7.99% in October
  • Snapped a two-month losing streak
  • Sits 76.65% off its pandemic low, 19.65% from its record high

Nasdaq Composite:

  • Rose 3.9% in October
  • Shattered a two-month losing streak
  • Sits 32.22% off its record high, 65.7% above its pandemic low

— Samantha Subin, Chris Hayes

Uber pops in premarket trading on revenue beat

Shares of Uber popped 9% in premarket trading Tuesday after the company reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations for revenue and showed a jump in bookings.

Still, Uber ultimately reported a loss during the quarter of $1.2 billion, or 61 cents per share. Of the loss, $512 was attributed to revaluations of Uber's equity investments, the company said.

The rideshare company reported revenue of $8.34 billion vs. $8.12 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.

Gross bookings jumped 26% on the year to $29.1 billion. In addition, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that October is tracking to be an even better month for gross company bookings and mobility.

—Carmen Reinicke, Ashley Capoot

Pfizer gains on earnings, revenue beat

Pfizer's stock rose 4% in premarket trading after topping analysts' expectations for the recent quarter on the top and bottom lines and upping its earnings outlook.

Earnings surpassed estimates by 39 cents a share as Pfizer posted EPS of $1.78 on revenues of $22.64 billion.

Pfizer also upped its earnings per share guidance for the year and the lower end of its revenue forecast. The company also upped its sales outlook for its Covid-19 vaccine by $2 billion to $34 billion as it continues to roll out its booster shots. Pfizer maintained its $22 billion revenue forecast for its Paxlovid treatment.

Separately, Pfizer reported positive results from a trial for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine. Data showed the vaccine is highly effective at protecting newborns when mothers receive the shot later in their pregnancy.

— Samantha Subin, Spencer Kimball

Abiomed shares surge on J&J acquisition

Abiomed shares surged more than 47% in the premarket on news that the company is being acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $380 per share in cash. Abiomed shares closed Monday's session at $252.08 per share.

The deal, according to a release, represents an enterprise value of about $16.6 billion and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

"The addition of Abiomed is an important step in the execution of our strategic priorities and our vision for the new Johnson & Johnson focused on Pharmaceutical and MedTech," J&J CEO Joaquin Duato said in a statement.

— Fred Imbert

Carvana shares pop after JPMorgan upgrade

Carvana shares traded more than 10% higher in the premarket after the online car seller was upgraded to neutral from underweight at JPMorgan.

The bank's Rajat Gupta said investors now have a better handle on the risks surrounding Carvana, noting that the company can better manage its liquidity.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

— Sarah Min

Stocks in China rally on unconfirmed posts of reopening discussion

Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong jumped after unconfirmed reports circulated about a committee being formed for reopening discussions in the world's second-largest economy.

The Shanghai Composite closed 2.6% higher, while the Shenzhen Component Index and Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended the overnight session up 3.2% and 5.2%, respectively.

Economist Hao Hong of Grow Investment Group tweeted that the rumored committee is reviewing data from multiple countries and aiming for a reopening in March next year.

To be sure, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told Reuters that he was unaware of the situation.

"I don't know where you got this information. I truly don't know anything about this," Zhao was quoted as saying.

Check out our Asia-Pacific markets coverage here.

– Jihye Lee

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are expected to open higher Thursday.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 14 points higher at 7,626, Germany's DAX 13 points higher at 15,837, France's CAC up 4 points at 7,253 and Italy's FTSE MIB 17 points higher at 26,579, according to data from IG.

Earnings come from Tate & Lyle, Manchester Utd, Johnson Matthey, United Utilities and Pets at Home. Data releases include a detailed breakdown of Germany's first-quarter gross domestic product.

— Holly Ellyatt

Eyes on the Fed this week

The November Fed meeting kicks off tomorrow.

Many market observers expect the central bank to continue its pattern of 75 basis point interest rate hikes.

"A 75-basis point rate hike on Wednesday should be fully expected, as the unemployment rate is still at a 50-year low and there is nothing to suggest that (Jerome) Powell will soften his stance on fighting inflation," said Danielle DiMartino Booth, chief strategist at Quill Intelligence. "The stock market surge since the last Fed meeting in mid-September only strengthens Powell's case for continuing to tighten financial conditions."

But many will be watching from the statement and question-and-answer segment with Powell, the chair, to see how hawkish the language is around inflation.

Some are expecting future meetings to bring lower interest rate hikes.

"Even more than Powell's direct ten minute Jackson Hole message, Wednesday's message will be crucial for market expectations going forward," said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. "With the question and answer segment, Chairman Powell will need to convince traders and investors alike that the Fed is still resolutely determined to curtail inflation, but that it can be accomplished with a steady dose of lower rates."

— Alex Harring

Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Avis, Stryker and more

Earnings continued to drive the biggest moves in after-hour trading.

Avis Budget Group jumped 2% after the budget car rental company reported per-share earnings of $21.70, above expectations of $14.64 per share, according to Refinitiv.

Stryker dropped 5.5% after it reported a miss on the top line in its latest quarterly results. The company narrowly beat expectations on revenue.

See the full list here.

— Alex Harring

Stock futures open flat

Futures were near flat for the three major indexes at open.

Dow futures were near flat, up 3 points. Futures tied the S&P 500 were also flat.

Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.1%.

— Alex Harring