The Latest: Markets cautious ahead of Fed rate decision

FILE - In this June 4, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a conference involving its review of its interest-rate policy strategy and communications in Chicago. The slightest hint that the Federal Reserve might lower interest rates often puts investors in a buying mood, stoking their expectations of greater stock market returns. But it doesn’t always work that way. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)
FILE - In this June 4, 2019, file photo Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a conference involving its review of its interest-rate policy strategy and communications in Chicago. On Wednesday, June 19, the Federal Reserve releases its latest monetary policy statement and updated economic projections. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting (all times local):

5:05 a.m.

Stock markets are subdued as investors look ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting, where the central bank is expected to indicate it could cut interest rates in coming months.

Futures for the Dow and S&P 500 are down about 0.1% on Wednesday, as is Germany's DAX stock index. The dollar is stable against the yen, at 108.43 yen, and against the euro, at $1.1200.

The Fed isn't considered ready to announce that it's reducing rates for the first time in more than a decade. But when it ends its latest policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank is expected to signal an inclination to ease credit sometime within the next several months. What it won't likely do is indicate when that might happen.

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12:05 a.m.

The Federal Reserve seems poised to pivot from keeping interest rates steady to holding out the option of cutting rates if it were to decide that the economic expansion needs support.

The Fed isn't considered ready to announce that it's reducing rates for the first time in more than a decade. But when it ends its latest policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank is expected to signal an inclination to ease credit sometime within the next several months. What it won't likely do is indicate when that might happen.

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