U.S. stock futures climbed on Wednesday, with the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting in the spotlight, along with a fresh batch of earnings from Boeing, Tesla and other big names.

Microsoft shares were rising in premarket following the tech giant’s results.

How are stock-index futures trading?

S&P 500 futures ES00, +1.13% jumped 1% to 4,398
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, +0.81% rose 0.8% to 34,482
Nasdaq Composite futures NQ00, +1.78% surged 1.7% to 14,386

On Tuesday, the Dow industrials DJIA, -0.19% fell 66.77 points, or 0.2%, to close at 34,297.73. The index saw a more than 800-point drop at its session low early Tuesday, followed by a rise in the afternoon. The S&P 500  SPX, -1.22% declined 53.68 points, or 1.2%, to end at 4,356.45 after a brief spell in correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite  COMP, -2.28%  dropped 315.83 points, or 2.3%, to finish at 13,539.29.

What’s driving the markets?

Investors have been whipsawed by recent volatility for markets, driven by disappointment over the earnings season thus far, geopolitical and COVID-19 worries and, most of all, apprehension over Fed tightening to come.

“Yesterday, major U.S. indices went from tears to laughter then back to tears, again,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, in a note to clients. “As such, seeking a dip has become a difficult exercise, and the strong corporate results have a little impact on the market’s bad faith these days.”

Fears over tighter Fed policy have been reflected in the Nasdaq, down 13% this month. It fell into correction territory last week, down more than 10% from its record high in November. Dominated by interest-rate-sensitive growth stocks, the index has suffered blows from rising Treasury yields.

Markets largely expect the first Fed interest-rate hike won’t arrive until March, but Wednesday’s outcome and comments will still garner close attention. A decision will be announced at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, followed by a news conference with Chair Jerome Powell at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

“It’s probably soon time to chill for the Fed hawks, as the Fed hasn’t got anything to gain in sending out hawkish messages today: slaughtered equity markets won’t help them to get the inflation situation straight. On the contrary, a deep dive in the financial markets would only refrain the Fed from doing what it’s got to do and worsen inflation,” added Ozkardeskaya.

Data released Tuesday showed slippage in consumer confidence, on the back of high prices and the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Apart from the Fed outcome, an advance report on trade in goods is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by new home sales starts at 10 a.m. Eastern, both for December.

Investors will also get a fresh batch of earnings, with AT&T T, +0.53%, Boeing BA, -0.05%, Abbott Laboratories ABT, -0.44%, General Dynamics GD, -0.54% and Corning GLW, -0.08%, followed by a busy after-hours calendar, including Tesla TSLA, -1.25%, Intel INTC, -1.81%, Whirlpool WHR, +0.44% and Xilinx XLNX, -6.66%.

Microsoft MSFT, -2.66% sales topped $50 billion for the first time in its fiscal second quarter, as it reported earnings late Tuesday. Stocks initially fell, then rebounded after the company’s strong revenue forecast for the current quarter.

Opinion: Microsoft stock’s post-earnings roller-coaster ride won’t be the last

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