Stock futures flat as Big Tech earnings roll in, Fed decision looms

US stock futures were flat in night trading Tuesday as investors digested key technology gains and prepared for the recent Federal Reserve policy announcement.

Dow futures fell about 50 points. S&P 500 futures gained 0.05% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.1%.

The Google parent alphabet reported a better-than-expected result on Tuesday after the bell, causing the tech giant’s shares to gain more than 4% in after-hours trading. Alphabet saw sales grow 34% year over year.

Meanwhile, Microsoft shares fell roughly 3% in expanded trading, even after the company beat analyst earnings. Microsoft saw the largest revenue growth since 2018, in part due to the increase in PC sales due to the coronavirus-induced shortage last year.

Starbucks lifted sentiment about the economic recovery from the pandemic and raised its full-year outlook as U.S. sales growth in the same store returned to pre-pandemic levels.

On Tuesday, the most important averages around the flatline were traded. The Dow Jones Industrial Average only rose 3 points. The S&P 500 closed flat after hitting an all-time high on Monday. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, falling 0.34% while Tesla fell 4.5%.

“Although the entire stock market was flat today, trading reopened still worked,” Jim Paulsen, Leuthold Group’s chief investment strategist, told CNBC. “The S&P 500 was led by energy, financial and industrial stocks rising nearly 1%. Likewise, the small cap Russell 2000 had another day of modest outperformance.”

Tech darlings Apple and Facebook will report their winnings on Wednesday after the bell.

“A lot of FAANGs are reporting this week and the stock market can wait for some of these key reports to be released before deciding on the next major direction,” added Paulsen.

The Fed concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday. The central bank is not expected to take action, but economists expect it to defend its policies to keep inflation running hot. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference 30 minutes after the decision is announced at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“Any advice given in the Board of Directors’ statement or in the subsequent press conference about a possible reduction in QE – when and how quickly – would likely move both the equity and bond markets,” said Paulsen.

Boeing, Ford, Qualcomm, eBay and MGM Resorts are among the other major corporate earnings on Wednesday.

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