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U.S. Stocks May Extend Pullback Ahead Of Fed Minutes, Nvidia Earnings

Stocks are likely to move to the downside in early trading on Wednesday, adding to the losses posted in the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures down by 0.3 percent.

The downward momentum on Wall Street reflects lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting later in the day.

“The Fed kept rates unchanged for the fourth time in a row at the January meeting and indicated it was not ready to start cutting,” said Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell.

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She added, “The meeting minutes should lift the lid on this thinking and more likely spell out that inflation needs to come down further before the central bank reaches for the scissors.”

Traders are also on edge ahead of the release of fourth quarter results from Nvidia (NVDA) after the close of today’s trading.

Shares of Nvidia have skyrocketed this year amid optimism about demand for its AI chips, but traders are wary of whether its results will support further upside.

“While equities have run out of steam in recent days, Nvidia’s results could be make or break time for markets,” said Hewson. “Elevated expectations mean the chip specialist has no room for error. It needs to smash it out of the park and show that the AI boom still has momentum.”

Ahead of the release of its quarterly results, Nvidia is slumping by 2.1 percent in pre-market trading after tumbling by 4.4 percent on Tuesday.

Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday, extending the pullback seen during last Friday’s session. The Nasdaq showed a notable move to the downside amid weakness among tech stocks.

The major averages ended the day in negative territory but off their lows of the session. The Nasdaq slumped 144.87 points or 0.9 percent to 15,630.78, the S&P 500 fell 30.06 points or 0.6 percent to 4,975.51 and the Dow dipped 64.19 points or 0.2 percent to 38,563.80.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.0 percent.

The major European markets are also mixed on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has slid by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.3 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are slipping $0.18 to $76.86 a barrel after tumbling $1.42 to $77.04 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $2,039.50, down $0.30 compared to the previous session’s close of $2,039.80. On Tuesday, gold climbed $15.70.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 150.04 yen compared to the 150.01 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0807 compared to yesterday’s $1.0808.

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