© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets© Reuters. Top 5 things to know today in financial markets

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, November 1:

1. Federal Reserve Decision Day

The Fed is at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (1800GMT), keeping it in a range between .

The central bank will likely point to a firming economy in its as it edges closer to a possible rate hike next month. The Fed’s comments on inflation will also be in focus.

The policy decision takes place just before President Donald Trump names a new Fed chair on Thursday, with sources saying the pick to replace Janet Yellen when her term ends in February is going to be current .

Powell is seen as than other contenders for the post, especially compared to Stanford University economist John Taylor, who has been regarded as another top challenger for the position.

Besides the Fed, there is a batch of data on today’s economic calendar, including the at 8:15AM ET (1215GMT), at 9:45AM ET (1345GMT) and both and at 10AM ET (1400GMT). There are also for October.

Investors also awaited tax reform details following news that Republican lawmakers , as they try to overcome differences involving the treatment of retirement savings accounts and state and local taxes, sources said.

The bill was initially expected on Wednesday, but the sources said it would be released on Thursday instead.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was a shade higher, while eased up.

2. Global Stock Markets Climb to New Highs

World shares started the month on a positive note to hit their latest in a run of record highs, supported by strong corporate earnings results and optimism about global growth.

Asian-Pacific markets . Among notable standouts, soared 1.9% to reach fresh 21-year highs. Across the Korean Strait, South Korea’s rose 1.3% to touch a fresh record high, boosted by gains in tech stocks.

In Europe, the pan-European jumped to a , with almost all sectors trading in positive territory, as investors focused on earnings reports.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks pointed to a higher open, as investors looked to key earnings reports to set the tone for the markets. Wall Street’s three major indexes ticked up on Tuesday to end October with their biggest monthly gains since February.

3. Facebook, Tesla Report Earnings

Traders braced for another round of earnings reports from big names such as Allergan (NYSE:), Groupon (NASDAQ:), Sodastream (NASDAQ:), Clorox (NYSE:), Cognizant (NASDAQ:), New York Times (NYSE:) and Thomson Reuters (NYSE:), all due to post results ahead of the opening bell.

After the close, Facebook (NASDAQ:), Tesla (NASDAQ:), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:), Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:), Allstate (NYSE:), FireEye (NASDAQ:), Fitbit (NYSE:), GoPro (NASDAQ:) and Yelp (NYSE:) are set to release earnings.

More than half of the has already reported quarterly results. Around 75% of those companies have surpassed earnings expectations, while 66% have surpassed sales estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

4. Oil Extends Rally Ahead of U.S. Stockpile Report

U.S. oil prices , amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show a sharp drop in both crude and gasoline inventories last week.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT).

After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by in the week ended October 29. That compared with analysts’ expectations for a decline of 1.8 million barrels.

The API report also showed a drop of 7.7 million barrels in gasoline stocks, while distillate stocks fell by 3.1 million barrels.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) touched a session high of $55.22, a level not seen since early January. It was last at $55.05 in early trade, up 1.2%.

Meanwhile, futures rose to an intraday peak of $61.70 a barrel, its best level since July 2015, boosted by signs that OPEC has significantly improved compliance with its pledged supply cuts.

5. Bitcoin Blasts to New All-Time High Above $6,500

prices hit a fresh all-time high, , boosted by bets the cryptocurrency could enter the financial mainstream after CME Group (NASDAQ:), the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, said it would launch a futures contract for bitcoin later this year.

The digital currency rallied to a peak of $6,522, surpassing the previous record of $6,330 recorded late last month. Prices pulled back slightly to trade at $6,505.

Bitcoin has been on an absolute tear in 2017, rising over 500% against the dollar so far this year.