Wall Street is set to open without direction on Wednesday morning, with investors preferring to remain on the defensive ahead of Nvidia's results and the release of the Fed's latest 'minutes'.

Half an hour before the opening, futures contracts on the main New York indices are showing stable variations, or even losses of around 0.2%, heralding a lacklustre start to the session.

The markets are playing it safe as Nvidia, the specialist in AI processors, is due to publish its quarterly accounts later this evening.

As is the Californian group's wont, analysts are expecting better-than-expected performance for the past quarter and an increase in its annual targets.

It may seem strange that the markets should rely so heavily on the results of a single company", admits Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank.

"But over the last few quarters, this event has become one of the most important on the calendar", he points out.

This status is justified by the strong fluctuations that follow the day after its publication, since Nvidia's results last February enabled the S&P 500 to climb by 2.1% in one day, its best daily performance in over a year", recalls Jim Reid.

Investors' circumspection seems to be explained above all by the fact that the share price is now up 90% since the start of the year, with a valuation that is evolving at record levels.

However, Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, points out that "investors who missed out on the hottest tech stocks of the last ten years, such as Amazon, Netflix, Meta, Apple and Alphabet, among others, were too focused on the P/E criterion, even though these were unique companies".

Investors' eyes will also turn to Washington, where the 'minutes' of the Fed's latest meeting will be published, providing valuable clues as to the future path of rates.

According to economists, these minutes should confirm that members of the policy committee want to ensure that inflation is under better control before considering possible rate cuts.

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said that keeping rates at their current high levels was not a cause for concern, given the current strength of the labor market", notes Rania Gule, market analyst at XS.com.

Other US indicators expected today include sales of existing homes, due shortly after the opening.

The prevailing uncertainty is reflected in a rise in the yield on ten-year Treasury bonds, which is back towards 4.45%, while the dollar is up towards 1.0835 against the euro, compared with 1.0855 last night.

The oil market is still showing weakness as it awaits the release of weekly US crude inventories in the afternoon, with a barrel of WTI now down more than 1% at $77.8.

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