U.S. futures are flat to slightly down in premarket trading Wednesday, ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting this afternoon.
Investors will be watching Fed Chair Janet Yellen's announcement to see whether the central bank plans to increase interest rates. The Fed chose to do just that at its previous meeting in December, but few analysts see that option as being a possibility this time around.
World markets are having a mixed day today with the Nikkei and Han Seng continuing their declines from Tuesday and the Shanghai Composite gaining for the second straight day. In Europe, the CAC 40 is the lone laggard while the FTSE 100 is climbing 0.1% and the DAX is rising 0.4%.
Oil prices were rallying from their recent dip Wednesday with Brent crude contracts advancing $0.63 to $39.37 per barrel while West Texas crude contracts up $0.75 to $37.09 per barrel.
The move in oil prices follows OPEC's announcement that it will meet with other major oil producers on April 17 to discuss ways to stabilize the price of the commodity, which has fallen from more than $100 a year and a half ago to a low of $26 per barrel last month.
Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) were down 5% premarket after the restaurant chain said that February sales declined 26% and that it expects to report a first-quarter loss as it recovers from a series of food-borne health scares. A quarterly loss would be the first the company has taken since it went public in 2006.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) shares were climbing premarket, one session after the stock dropped 51.5% after slashing its 2016 revenue guidance due to slower-than-expected growth in its U.S. dermatology, gastrointestinal, and women's health businesses. The company expects revenue to be between $11 billion and $11.2 billion vs. its previous estimate between $12.5 billion and $12.7 billion.
Oracle (ORCL) is rising 3.5% premarket after the software company reported an uptick in its cloud services revenue on the way to topping analysts' bottom-line expectations for the third consecutive quarter. The company's cloud computing segment saw a 40% increase. Oracle also announced that it added $10 billion to its current stock buyback authorization.
Finally, Time Warner Cable (TWC) shares should receive a bump today following reports that the FCC is likely to circulate a draft order approving its $56 billion merger with Charter Communications (CHTR).