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U.S. Stocks Slip Ahead of the Fed's Rate decision

The U.S. stock market opened lower on Wednesday as investors prepared for the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 129 points (0.4%), while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite were both down 0.2% at 9:49 ET.

Investors are being cautious due to the expected quarter of a percentage point increase in the benchmark interest rate. Chair Jerome Powell's post-decision speech is highly anticipated for any clues on the Fed's future plans. The central bank wants to balance the economy's growth and inflation, closely monitoring labor market trends and inflation. The recent ADP report showed a slowdown in the job market with 106,000 new employees added in January, compared to the expected 253,000. The market predicts one more rate hike in March to reach a terminal rate of 4.9%.

In terms of corporate earnings, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) saw a 6% rise in shares after better-than-expected results, while Electronic Arts (EA) experienced a 12% drop after lowering its annual bookings forecast. Snap Inc reported a net loss in the fourth quarter and saw a 13.6% decrease in shares. In the commodity market, crude oil futures were up 0.3% while Brent oil and gold futures remained flat.

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