Futures higher with earnings, Fed in focus
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[October 31, 2017]
By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were
slightly higher on Tuesday following a fresh set of earnings reports,
while investors waited for an announcement on the new Federal Reserve
* President Donald Trump is likely to pick Fed Governor Jerome Powell as
the next head of the U.S. central bank, a source familiar with the
matter said on Monday.
* Powell is seen as more dovish than other contenders such as Stanford
University economist John Taylor. Trump is expected to announce his
decision on Thursday.
* The Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting in
Washington to discuss interest rates.
* The central bank is likely to hold back from raising rates after the
meeting, with economists expecting a hike only in December, according to
a Reuters poll.
* With more than half the S&P 500 components reported, third-quarter
earnings are expected to have climbed 6.7 percent, up from an
expectation of 5.9-percent growth at the start of October, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* Pfizer <PFE.N> gained 1.71 percent premarket after the largest U.S.
drugmaker's third-quarter profit more than doubled.
* Mondelez <MDLZ.O> jumped nearly 6 percent after the Oreo maker
reported better-then-expected profit and revenue as demand for its key
brands rose in Europe and Latin America and the company cut costs.
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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in
New York, U.S., August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
* WellCare Health Plans <WCG.N> jumped 3 percent after the health insurer said
its profit more than doubled.
* Wall Street pulled back from record-high territory on Monday, weighed down by
a drop in Merck shares and a report that U.S. lawmakers are discussing a gradual
phase-in of much-anticipated corporate tax cuts.
* Also rattling the market on Monday was news that Federal investigators probing
Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election charged Trump's former campaign
manager, Paul Manafort, and another aide, Rick Gates, with money laundering.
* A Conference Board report due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) is expected to show
that its consumer confidence index rose to a reading of 121 in October from
119.8 in September.
* Qualcomm <QCOM.O> was down 4.4 percent after Reuters reported that Apple <AAPL.O>
has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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