Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures inched higher, following a four-day decline that sent the S&P 500 to a three-week low, before the Federal Reserve’s rate decision.

Contracts on the S&P 500 expiring in June rose 0.3 percent to 2,071.25 at 10:55 a.m. in London. Stocks yesterday capped their longest losing streak since February as banks slid and concern grew over Britain’s future in the European Union. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,629 today.

The S&P 500 has fallen this week as the potential fallout from Britain’s June 23 referendum spooked markets, just days after optimism over low rates and modest economic growth buoyed the benchmark to an almost 11-month high. While the Fed is expected to keep its interest rates unchanged at today’s meeting, investors will scrutinize Chair Janet Yellen’s comments after the decision for clues on the likely timing of the next increase.

“We could go through the whole year without any Fed hikes or focusing expectations towards the end of the year,” said Christoph Riniker, the Zurich-based head of strategy research at Julius Baer Group Ltd., which oversees 300 billion Swiss francs ($310 billion). “We have some positive data, but market participants don’t believe this is enough to justify a hike now. Investors are being torn between these different Brexit polls and this adds to the volatility in the market.”

Traders are pricing in a 16 percent chance of a rate move in July, and the first month with even odds for a hike has been pushed out to February 2017. Reports on the nation’s industrial production and manufacturing in the New York region are also due today.

The S&P 500 had rallied as much as 16 percent from a 22-month low in February to within 0.6 percent of an all-time high last week. It’s still less than 3 percent from its record set nearly 13 months ago, and has gone the longest without a fresh high outside of a bear market since 1984.

Among stocks moving in premarket trading, Twitter Inc. rose 1.6 percent. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, said companies may consider the social media firm for an acquisition. Twitter jumped 9.6 percent in the past two days after Microsoft Corp.’s agreement to buy LinkedIn Corp. prompted deal speculation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roxana Zega in Zurich at rzega@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net, Namitha Jagadeesh, Alan Soughley

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