U.S. Stock ETFs Meander Ahead of Fed Comments

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds were relatively flat Wednesday ahead of minutes out of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, with the energy sector dragging on markets on a projected expansion in U.S. crude oil stockpiles.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were unchanged mid-Wednesday.

Traders remained relatively calm and waited on further guidance out of the Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes after policy makers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, hinted at possible rate hikes in the upcoming meeting.

“It is no more a question of whether they will raise rates, but when they are going to do it,” Jim Davis, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank Private Client Group, told Reuters.

Many traders don’t expect a rate hike until June, despite strengthening economic indicators. Federal-fund futures reveal options traders are betting on a 22% change of a rate hike in the Fed’s upcoming March meeting.