Stocks set for quiet open

@CNNMoneyInvest January 25, 2012: 8:39 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were poised for a quiet open Wednesday, as investors await the latest interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve and keep an eye on Greece's debt talks.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were mixed. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Investors are likely to remain anxious Wednesday over Greece's ongoing negotiations with representatives of private-sector creditors to reduce its debt burden.

Greece is in desperate need of an agreement to receive additional bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Without these funds, the country may not be able to make a €14 billion debt payment that's due March 20.

Investors will also be watching for the results of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which are due later in the day. The Fed is set to release forward-looking forecasts for the federal funds rate for the first time ever.

Shares of Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) remain in focus, after the iPhone and iPad maker reported a whopping quarterly profit of $13 billion after the closing bell Tuesday -- the best quarter ever for a technology company. The company said sales for the quarter hit $46.3 billion, sending shares shooting up 7% in premarket trading Wednesday.

U.S. stocks ended mostly in the red Tuesday, as investors waded through corporate earnings results and awaited progress out of Greece.

World markets: European stocks were lower in afternoon trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) lost 0.6%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany slipped 0.6% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) fell 0.9%.

U.S. inches closer to 'Europe moment'

The U.K. government reported a 0.2% decline in fourth-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, due to weakness in the production and construction sectors.

Meanwhile, Germany's Ifo index, a widely watched gauge of business confidence, rose in January, indicating that the German economy may be gathering steam. The positive report follows an auction of 30-year German bonds that drew strong demand.

Markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai were closed Wednesday for the Chinese New Year. Japan's Nikkei (N225) ended 1% higher.

Economy: The Federal Reserve is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.25%, according to a survey of analysts by Briefing.com.

Also on tap for Wednesday, pending home sales for the month of December are expected to have dropped by 3%, after rising 7.3% in the prior month.

Companies: Shares of Boeing (BA, Fortune 500) dipped 1% before the bell, after the airplane maker reported a jump in fourth quarter profit and revenue, but issued disappointing full-year earnings guidance.

The shrinking private equity world

Delta (DAL, Fortune 500) reported fourth-quarter earnings that widely beat expectations, sending shares of the airline 4% higher in premarket trading.

Shares of Ericsson (ERIC) tumbled 15% in premarket trading, after the Swedish telecom-equipment maker reported a 66% drop in fourth quarter profit, driven by weak network sales.

Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) reported a much quieter quarter than Apple, posting earnings in line with analysts' expectations after the close Tuesday. Shares of the company slipped more than 1% in premarket trading Wednesday.

Shares of Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) slumped 4% before the market open. The graphics chip maker cut its fourth-quarter sales outlook after the bell Tuesday, citing a shortage of disk drives.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, Fortune 500) also reported earnings late Tuesday, posting revenue that missed expectations. Shares of the semiconductor company fell 5% early Wednesday.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar gained against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for March delivery slipped 75 cents to $98.20 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $9.60 to $1,655 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose slightly, pushing the yield down slightly to 2.05% from 2.06% late Tuesday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 7:27pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.00 0.00%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
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15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
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