Wall Street set for muted open; Fed meet in focus
By Shreyashi Sanyal
June 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set for a subdued opening on Monday, following two straight weeks of gains, as focus shifted to a pivotal Federal Reserve meeting that could lay the groundwork for an interest rate cut later this year.
The S&P 500 index .SPX has risen nearly 5% so far in June on hopes of a rate cut in the face of weaker economic data and heightening global trade tensions, but that rally ran out of steam in the past week as traders trimmed their expectations.
The Fed is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, but analysts expect data to show that a growing number of policymakers are open to cutting rates in the coming months.
"I think the focus will be on what the Fed sounds like in the meeting this week," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"Jerome Powell has got to be very careful about what he says, and how he frames it because you don't want the market to panic if the Fed's going to be behind the curve."
The Fed's policy-setting committee is due to release its statement at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, with Powell holding a press conference shortly after.
At 8:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 17 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 0.75 points, or 0.03% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 10.5 points, or 0.14%.
Investors also braced for the Group of 20 summit at the end of the month, which has fueled expectations of progress on resolving the prolonged trade war between the United States and China.
Among stocks, Array Biopharma Inc ARRY.O jumped nearly 60% premarket after Pfizer Inc PFE.N agreed to buy the drugmaker for $10.64 billion to beef up its cancer portfolio. Pfizer edged up 0.3%.
Hard-disk drive makers Western Digital Corp WDC.O dropped 0.6% and Seagate Technology STX.O dipped 0.4%, after Susquehanna cut price targets citing worse-than-expected memory pricing weakness.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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