Stocks will rise slightly ahead of the Fed Meeting

U.S. stock futures were marginally higher on Wednesday morning as investors looked to Federal Reserve meeting minutes for clues about the pace of future interest rate hikes.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrials rose 20 points, or 0.1%, to 34,146.

Futures for the S&P 500 rose six points, or 0.2%, to 4,016.25.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite rose 30 points, or 0.3%, to 11,784.50.

Shares of Nordstrom fell more than 8% in premarket trading after the department store chain reaffirmed its forecast. However, according to Refinitiv consensus expectations, Nordstrom beat profit and sales expectations in its latest results.

Investors shrugged off fears of more lockdowns in China after the country reported its first COVID deaths since May. Instead, traders focused on some strong earnings reports and bets on the possibility of monetary policy easing from the Fed.

In early November, the central bank approved a fourth consecutive 0.75 percentage point hike, bringing the key rate to its highest level since 2008. Economists are predicting a half-percent increase in December and a smaller rate increase next year.

In addition, investors will analyze the latest jobless claims data. Economists polled by Dow Jones are forecasting 225,000 claims for the week ending Nov. 19, a slight increase from the previous week’s initial estimate of 222,000.

They also await the latest data on durable goods and new home sales in October. According to estimates by Dow Jones, durable goods are expected to increase by 0.5% in October compared to the previous month.

Markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and close early on Friday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 0.6%. Markets in Japan are closed for the holiday.

One barrel of oil fell by $1.80 to $79.06.

The price of one ounce of gold fell by $1.30 to $1,738.60.