Stock futures were little changed Tuesday night after another wild session for the market.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 70 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures fell less than 1%.
Microsoft shares rose 1% in after-hours trading after the company released better-than-expected quarterly revenue forecasts. Previously, the stock traded more than 4% lower after Microsoft's latest earnings report showed modest revenue growth for its Azure cloud business.
The Dow ended the regular trading day down 66 points, or 0.2%. However, the average of the 30 stocks fell as much as 818.98 points during the session and briefly rose as much as 226.54 points. The moves came a day after the Dow recovered from a deficit of 1,115 to post an easy gain.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also closed well below their session lows on Tuesday, but still lost 1.2% and 2.3%, respectively.
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Anu Gaggar, global investment strategist at the Commonwealth Financial Network, said she believes this high volatility is a byproduct of investors preparing for tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.
"The market is showing withdrawal symptoms as it grapples with the possibility of the Fed put being removed," Gaggar said. "It almost feels like the market is acting a bit incoherently, not knowing which way to go – down because the Fed is tightening, or up because the Fed is finally acting to curb inflation, and ammunition charges while economic growth remains strong."
The Fed is expected to wrap up a two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, with an announcement at 2 p.m. ET. The central bank is not expected to announce any policy changes, but investors will be looking for clues as to when – and by how much – the Fed will hike rates later this year. Investors will also be looking for clues about the next steps the Fed will take to further roll back the stimulus measures taken in 2020 to support the economy early in the pandemic.
"Between rate hikes and the $9 trillion balance sheet rejuvenation, we could be looking at a currency regime that's changing rapidly," Gaggar said.
Government bond yields rose sharply at the beginning of the year in anticipation of tighter monetary policy from the Fed. Last week, the benchmark 10-year bond yield briefly broke above 1.9%. On Tuesday, the yield closed at 1.77% — still more than 20 basis points above where it ended 2021.
On the data front, international trade numbers are due out Wednesday at 8:30 am ET. New home sales data is expected to be released at 10am ET.
The corporate earnings season also continues on Wednesday, with Dow members Boeing and AT&T reporting before the bell. Tesla and Intel are expected to release their latest earnings results after the close of trading.
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