The latest policy decision of the Federal Reserve will dominate US markets this week with investors preparing for and the meeting on Wednesday and reacting thereafter. The relatively hawkish comments by FOMC members following the decision to remove the word “patience” from the statement have not stacked up against a spate of poor economic data, notably a slowdown in hiring. This discrepancy is creating hope that the Fed will opt to tighten policy later, explaining the stock market push to near record highs. But also fear that the central bank may adjust policy in the face of a weaker economy, explaining the onset of sharp corrections. It is probably the most important day in the earnings calendar with Apple expected to report another quarter of ground-moving profit and sales growth after the closing bell. The iPhone is what determines whether Apple shares move higher in the long run, but investors will be considering a number of factors for performance over the weeks ahead. Not least, the prospects of the recently launched Apple Watch, the strong dollar impact on foreign earnings, competition from Samsung’s Galaxy S6 as well as updates to the capital allocation plan of the world’s most profitable company. To read the full CMC Markets report on Apple earnings and the Apple Watch, please click here US stocks are looking for a higher open on Monday before Apple reports but whether they can break and hold onto new records this week rest with the Fed. Markit’s services PMI is expected to show a modest increase for April to 59.5 from 59.2 at 2.45pm BST. Futures suggest the: S&P 500 will open 2 points higher at 2,119 with the Dow Jones expected to open 10 points higher at 18,090 and the Nasdaq 100 6 point higher at 4,542. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.