By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com — Stocks treaded water on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady and said it would keep a close eye on progress toward the point where it would begin reducing its monthly bond purchases.
With interest rates remaining around 0% to 0.25% for now, tech stocks have more reason to climb. The Nasdaq moved higher late afternoon on Wednesday, while the and the were flat to down with under an hour of trading left in the session.
Fed policymakers have been under pressure to provide more details about their thinking on when it would be appropriate to back off from the emergency lending operations it undertook last year to get the U.S. economy through the pandemic-induced recession.
On Wednesday, the Fed said it’s keeping a closer eye on economic progress.
Big tech companies Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:), Google’s Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) reported stronger than expected profit after Tuesday’s closing bell. Apple’s $81 billion in revenue was a 36% gain from a year earlier and beat consensus of $73 billion, driven by strong sales in iPhones.
But Apple investors weren’t satisfied. The stock dipped Wednesday on fears about component shortages that could cut into results for the third quarter.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) reports results Wednesday after the closing bell, and Thursday brings Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:)’s results. Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:
1. Amazon profits
Ecommerce giant Amazon.com is expected to report earnings per share of $12.24 for the second quarter on revenue of $115.33 billion, according to analysts tracked by Investing.com.
2. Media blitz
Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:), the parent of NBCUniversal, is also expected to report second-quarter results on Thursday. Revenue is seen at $27.13 billion and EPS at 65 cents.
3. More earnings
In this heavy week of earnings reports, a deluge of other companies are due to report. Pharma giant Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:) is likely to report second-quarter EPS of $1.40 on revenue of $11.09 billion, according to analysts tracked by Investing.com. Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) PLC ADR (NYSE:) is seen reporting an EPS of $1.21 and revenue of $78.09 billion.
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