U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Investors Look Out for Clues From Fed

U.S. equity-index futures climbed as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea subsided and as investors prepared for the release of the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

S&P 500 futures expiring in September rose 0.2 percent as of 5 a.m. in New York. The benchmark closed little changed on Tuesday. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

All eyes will be on the minutes from the Fed meeting after policy makers have indicated they may announce plans to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet “relatively soon,” and potentially raise interest rates again this year. Markets this week have calmed down after a tumultuous few days of elevated tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

  • The latest European data showed Italy’s economy expanding for a tenth straight quarter, while growth in the Netherlands beat economists’ estimates. Eastern European economies including Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland also exceeded expectations, confirming that a broad-based recovery is taking hold.
  • Investors will be studying U.S. housing starts and building permits data today for signs of how well the economy is recovering.
  • The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index fell for the fourth day after last week rising to the highest level since the U.S. Presidential election.
  • Fiat’s shares rose in pre-market trading; the stock surged to a record high this week after Morgan Stanley analysts said they see “substantial hidden value” in several of the company’s brands that could emerge from spin-offs or sales to other automakers.
  • Urban Outfitters is trading 18 percent higher pre-market after results beat estimates.
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