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Stocks move higher ahead of Fed rate hike decision

Yahoo Finance Live’s Brad Smith discusses the rise in stocks following the opening bell on Wednesday.

Video transcript

JULIE HYMAN: There we have the opening bell on Wall Street here on this Wednesday morning. Let's do a quick check on the markets here sponsored by FlexShares as we get underway this morning. Obviously there continues to be a lot of earnings that investors are piecing through. Was interesting to get that common theme from both Starbucks and Ford that beat last quarter but did not raise for the full year, and we heard a little while ago from the Starbucks CFO that she still sees continued momentum. We will hear more full comments from the Ford CFO in just a few moments here.

But not seeing much movement in the markets. Of course, the other big event today is the Federal Reserve meeting and interest-rate decision coming this afternoon, and a lot of discussion over the kind of tenor of that discussion, whether the Fed will leave open the door to more rate increases. The common consensus seems to be that they will not be raising once again this year and may even cut, but we'll see what ends up happening. But, Brad, not a lot of movement as people wait for that big news.


BRAD SMITH: Yeah, and as we're taking a look at some of the major averages ahead of that decision, the Dow Jones Industrial Average right now flat, just barely to the upside, and over the course of the past three days, net lower by about 1% here. So trading kind of sideways to start off today's activity, but past three days in the red by about 1.2%. Also down by a little more than 1% over the past three days.

And let's put this in context as well. Yesterday was the big decline day that really rocked the major averages over that past three-day time span. If you were to kind of take this back into last week, that's where you would still be somewhat holding on to some of those gains for the NASDAQ Composite off of the back of some of the megacap tech stock earnings that we had seen.

But still, even over the course of this week leading up to the Fed decision and even as we had seen some of the bank concerns-- regional-bank concerns really spook markets yesterday, those declines still looming large over the course of this week at least. But the NASDAQ is up by about 1/10 of a percent out of the gate this morning. S&P 500, that's up by about 1/10 of a percent as well.

Taking a look at the S&P 500 sectors, 11 of them. We've got them loaded up here on the screen for you. XLE, that's bringing up the caboose here on the day. That's down by about 1% right now.

However, leading the pack-- interesting. You've got some movement in health care here on the day, even more earnings that have come forward. We'll break those down just a little bit later on in the show.

JULIE HYMAN: Can we get a quick regional-bank check while--

BRAD SMITH: Sure can.

JULIE HYMAN: --we've got you up there because I am curious how many of those regional banks are doing again today. A lot more green than we have been seeing here, although the likes of PacWest still down a little bit this morning I see.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. We're taking a look at, of course, you know, just some of the red spots starting, at least, to turn green at least.

JULIE HYMAN: Oh yeah, PacWest just flipped into--

BRAD SMITH: But PacWest is up.

JULIE HYMAN: --green.


JULIE HYMAN: There you go.

BRAD SMITH: Well, I clicked on it a moment ago.

JULIE HYMAN: Everything's moving too quickly.

BRAD SMITH: It's moving so fast, man. My spidey senses, they're not fully all the way at full throttle right now.

JULIE HYMAN: That's all right. We'll take a break, and when we come back, they will be.