Futures up on Fed's
dovish rate-hike outlook
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[March 16, 2017]
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
stock index futures rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised
interest rates for the first time this year, but indicated it was in no
hurry to increase the pace of tightening.
Drawing on continued strength in the labor market and inflation trending
just below its 2 percent target, the central bank on Wednesday raised
rates by a quarter point to 0.75-1.00 percent.
Wall Street ended with solid gains on Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet
Yellen expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and said high stock
prices were a signal of easier financial conditions.
The Fed, however, stuck to its outlook for two more rate hikes this year
and three more in 2018. Shares of big U.S. banks, which slipped on the
Fed's dovish stance on Wednesday, were up between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in
Donald Trump's election as U.S. President in November set Wall Street on
a record-setting rally on hopes that he would boost the economy through
fiscal stimulus, simpler regulations and tax reforms.
Gold hit a one-week high, while the dollar, which had risen on
expectations of a more hawkish Fed, hit a one-month low.
Oil prices rose about 1 percent, supported by a weaker dollar and data
that showed U.S. inventories had dipped after rising for nine weeks.
Investors will turn their attention to economic data, while looking for
more clarity on Trump's proposed policies.
A Commerce Department report is expected to show housing starts edged up
to 1.26 million-unit rate in February from 1.25 million units the
previous month. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in
New York, U.S., March 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Also due is a Labor Department report, which is likely to show the
number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 3,000
to 240,000 last week.
Shares of Tesla rose 2.3 percent to $261.58 after the electric
carmaker said it would raise about $1.15 billion as the company speeds
up the launch of its Model 3 sedan.
Biogen slipped 2.2 percent to $286 after Morgan Stanley and Leerink
downgraded the drugmaker's stock and cut price targets.
Dollar General rose 5 percent to $76.50 after the discount retailer
reported a 13.7 percent jump in quarterly sales.
Futures snapshot at 6:55 a.m. ET:
Dow e-minis were up 69 points, or 0.33 percent, with 5,550 contracts
S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.26 percent, with 38,597
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 17.25 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
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