WASHINGTON -- The Latest on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting (all times local):
Stock markets are edging higher ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting at which the central bank is not expected to change its interest rates but could give clues on their future direction.
Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 are both up 0.4%. The indexes that are open for trading in Europe, where much of the region is closed for a holiday, are also up slightly, with Britain's FTSE 100 up 0.1%. The dollar was steady against the yen and euro.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a news conference after the Fed meeting ends Wednesday.
Economists expect the Fed to say that it will not increase its key interest rates anytime soon as it monitors the health of the U.S. and global economy. Low rates tend to help stock markets and the economy by making it cheaper to borrow money. President Donald Trump has called for what no mainstream economist is advocating: interest rate cuts.
The Federal Reserve is all but sure to keep interest rates on hold Wednesday — and for the foreseeable future — even as President Donald Trump keeps up his attacks on the Fed for not cutting rates.
The Fed will likely reiterate a message that has reassured consumers and investors since the start of the year: No rate hikes are likely anytime soon. The Fed's low-rate policy is keeping borrowing costs down, helping boost stock prices and supporting an economy that's growing steadily. And with inflation remaining tame, the Fed is seen as able to stay on the sidelines at least through this year.
Yet Trump insists the economy can do better, and to that end he is demanding what almost no mainstream economist would favor: Cutting rates further.