Apple to lead market higher, awaiting Fed

October 28, 2015 10:10 AM

Wall Street was set to open higher on Wednesday as investors await the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement, while Apple's strong results allayed some concerns about its business in China.

Apple sold 48 million iPhones in the quarter and reported a near doubling of revenue from China. The stock was up 1.5% at $116.35 in premarket trading.

The Fed's statement is due at 2:00 p.m. ET after its two-day policy meeting ends. While the central bank is not expected to raise rates at the meeting, traders will parse the statement for clues on when it will pull the trigger.

"I don't think the Fed is going to do anything. The issues they talked about in September are still there," said Drew Horter, founder of Horter Investment Management. "I don't think they're going to raise until 2016 because there are too many questions right now."

While the United States is starting to show signs of a slowdown, the global economy continues to remain fragile with China cutting rates further to stimulate growth.

U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Tuesday after Ford's results missed expectations and energy stocks slid.

At 8:26 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.12%, with 108,167 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.16%, on volume of 20,481 contracts. Dow e-minis were up 15 points, or 0.09%, with 12,986 contracts changing hands.

Diamond Foods was up 6% at $37.00 after Snyder's-Lance said it would buy the Kettle potato chips maker for about $1.27 billion.

Northrop Grumman jumped 5.7% to $190.95 after it reported better-than-expected third-quarter results.

Twitter slumped 10.3% to $28.11 on disappointing revenue forecast and anemic user growth.

Akamai Technologies dropped 18.5% to $61.55 after its revenue and profit forecast was below expectations.

Rite Aid shares lost some of their Tuesday's gains and were trading down 8.2% at $7.97, a day after Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would buy the smaller drugstore operator for $9.4 billion. Walgreens shares shed 1.7% after its results on Wednesday morning.

Gilead Sciences was down 1.4% at $109.45 after the biotech company reported weak sales growth for its hepatitis C drug in the quarter.

Amgen, GoPro and PayPal will post results after the close. GoPro was up 1.3%, while PayPal inched up 1.1% in premarket trading.

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Abhiram Nandakumar, Reuters