U.S. stock futures up as
Fed minutes show economic growth to pick up
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[May 25, 2017]
By Tanya Agrawal
stock index futures were higher on Thursday after minutes of the Federal
Reserve's latest meeting showed policymakers expected the economy to
pick up momentum and that they would raise interest rates soon.
But, policymakers agreed they should hold off on raising rates until it
was clear a recent slowdown in the U.S. economy was temporary.
Federal funds futures imply traders see an 83 percent chance of a rate
hike in June, unchanged from before the minutes, according to the CME
Group's FedWatch tool.
The central bank also proposed a plan to wind down its $4.5 trillion of
debt securities, including a limit on how much would be allowed to fall
off the balance sheet each month.
While recent economic data has been mixed, with signs of a dip in
consumer sentiment and spending, the job market continues to strengthen.
Following the minutes, the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Wednesday.
The S&P and the Dow Jones Industrial Average notched gains for a fifth
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With the Fed now keeping an eye on economic growth, every data set will
be more closely scrutinized. The first report is on jobless claims, due
at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), and is expected to show claims rose to
238,000 last week from 232,000.
Oil prices fell about 1.5 percent after an OPEC delegate said the group
had decided to extend production cuts for nine months, which traders say
have already been baked into prices, and not longer as many investors
were hoping for. [O/R]
Oil majors Chevron and Exxon were down about 0.2 percent in premarket
HP Inc rose 4.8 percent to $19.92 after the company's quarterly results
Sears jumped 8.4 percent to $8.10 after the retailer reported its first
quarterly profit in nearly two years, while Best Buy rose nearly 11
percent after issuing its quarterly results.
PVH Corp was up 6 percent at $108.06 after the owner of Tommy Hilfiger
posted a better-than-expected profit and raised its full-year forecast.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
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