The public's ears will perk up Wednesday afternoon when the Federal Reserve issues its statement on interest rates, but traders have plenty to contend with ahead of the decision.

The Federal Open Market Committee will give its decision at 2:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday, although economists do not expect the policy-making arm of the Fed to change the fed funds rate. Instead, the wording of the central bank's statement will be more scrutinized.

Ahead of that deadline, though, investors will have a handful of economic reports to sift through. Before the start of trading, the Census Bureau will release May data on durable goods orders, which are expected to fall 0.9% after a 1.9% increase in April. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders are expected to have declined by only 0.5% last month.

Additionally, the latest report on new-home sales will be released at 10 a.m. EDT, with economists expecting a slight increase in May to 360,000 units from 352,000 in April. On Tuesday, investors were disappointed with a housing report that showed existing-home sales rose only 2.4% from April to May. While the improvement was certainly welcome, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million last month was below what economists expected.

Energy prices will also bear watching as the

Energy Department

will post weekly inventory numbers. Crude prices have been on a rollercoaster ride as of late. On Tuesday, oil rose $1.74 to end at $69.24 a barrel, retracing some of 4% decline from the previous session. The increase coincides with a


survey showing that crude oil supplies are expected to have fallen by 950,000 barrels, which would be the third straight week of declines.

Turning to stocks,


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Rite Aid

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Bed Bath & Beyond

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are among a handful of companies expected to report quarterly earnings results Wednesday.

Best Buy

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, meanwhile, will hold its annual shareholders meeting.