Stock futures traded in a tight range on Wednesday as investors waited on the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting,with the Dow industrial's 20,000 milestone just in reach.
Investors will be looking for clues on future monetary policy from the Federal Reserve Wednesday, with an interest-rate hike all but assured, according to most economists and analysts.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures eased 19 points to 19,840. The Dow industrials closed up 114.78 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 19,911.21 on Tuesday. During that session, it tapped an intraday high that was less than 50 points away from the key 20,000 level. The index also marked its 7th straight closing high.
The S&P 500 index and Nasdaq 100 index also finished at record highs Tuesday. Futures for the S&P 500 traded up 0.2 point to 2,267.75, while Nasdaq 100 futures inched up 3.25 points to 4,940.50.
Investors will be watching bonds after the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury traded near a two-year high on Tuesday.
Fed in focus: The rally for equities kicked off after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election last month, lifted by hopes he will bring in stimulative policies. Analysts have urged Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen to not dodge questions on Trump's plans for the economy at the central bank's press conference later on Wednesday.
The Fed is widely expected to announce an increase in the target range for its federal funds rate to between 0.5% and 0.75% when its two-day meeting wraps up later.
Otherwise, analysts expect a Yellen will convey a message of calm and indicate investors shouldn't expect a flurry of interest rate rises. The rate decision will be announced at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, followed by a press conference with Yellen at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
"Central bank officials are probably looking to avoid a communication misstep like the one they made exactly 12 months ago, when they projected four rate increases for 2016, while traders had priced in just two," said Ilya Spivak, senior currency strategist, at DailyFX.com.
A year ago, markets balked at that Fed rate-hike projection, "triggering a violent deterioration in sentiment and committing the Fed to a clean-up effort that occupied most of the subsequent year," Spivak said in a note to clients.