U.S. stocks inched higher ahead of a Federal Reserve policy decision Wednesday, when the central bank is expected to cut interest rates for the first time in a decade.

Analysts will be attuned to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s message after the central bank’s meeting concludes at 2 p.m. EDT. Some investors are betting on more than one rate cut this year, and Mr. Powell could provide clues on the Fed’s path.

The S&P 500 drifted about 0.1% higher shortly after the opening bell. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72 points, or 0.3%, lifted higher by Apple shares after its earnings.

Apple stock jumped 5.2% after the company reported strong revenue growth on Tuesday. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. fell about 8.6% after it projected weaker-than-expected revenue growth for its current quarter.

A a souvenir stand in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Earlier, Asian stocks fell after tweets from President Trump on Tuesday dampened optimism for a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks.

“There are issues that make a comprehensive and durable deal quite difficult to achieve,” said Arnab Das, global market strategist at Invesco, adding that he doesn’t expect a complete breakdown or a Brexit-type risk of a no-deal.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down by 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.7%.

Shares of Chinese property developers fell after the country’s leadership vowed not to use the real-estate market as a tool to try to arrest an economic slowdown. At a meeting Tuesday, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body reiterated that housing is “used for living, not for speculation,” adding it “will not use real estate as a short-term means of stimulating the economy.”

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was up 0.8% at $65.15 a barrel, amid continued tensions in the Middle East and expectations of lower interest rates in the U.S.

Write to Lauren Almeida at lauren.almeida@wsj.com

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