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U.S. futures point to break in losing streak, Fed and data on tap

Stock MarketsMar 28, 2017 07:03
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© Reuters. Wall Street looks to a slightly higher open ahead of Fed speakers and confidence data

Investing.com - Wall Street stock futures pointed to a flat to higher open on Tuesday in what would be a break from the Dow’s eight-day losing streak, its worst since July/August 2011, as investors looked ahead to appearances from Federal Reserve (Fed) officials and economic data.

The blue-chip Dow futures inched up 5 points, or 0.02%, by 6:55AM ET (10:55GMT), the S&P 500 futures edged forward 1 point, or 0.05%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 7 points, or 0.13%.

As markets pointed to a weak recovery, attention shifted Tuesday to comments from a number of Fed policymakers later in the day for more clues on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

The focus will undoubtedly be on Fed chair Janet Yellen who was set to speak on workforce development challenges in low-income communities at 9:50AM ET (13:50GMT) on the off chance that she provides any indications for the future path of monetary policy.

Dallas Fed chief Rob Kaplan was scheduled for an appearance as well, though it would be unlikely for him to add anything new to comments made after Tuesday’s close that U.S. GDP growth should be enough to remove slack from the labor market, that the U.S. central bank was meeting its dual mandate and that continued progress towards goal will mean that he remains supportive of further rate hikes.

Kansas City Fed president Esther George and Fed governor Jerome Powell are also on tap Tuesday.

Fed fund futures priced in around a 45% chance of a rate hike in June, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of an increase in July topped the 50% threshold and moved to about 70% for September.

On the data front, markets will concentrate its attention on the Conference Board’s consumer confidence for March at 10AM ET (14:00GMT), which will be simultaneously released with the January Case-Shiller house price index and the Richmond Fed readings on manufacturing and services for March.

In a lesser report, wholesale inventories will be out at 8:30AM (12:30GMT).

Meanwhile, oil prices edged higher on Tuesday, rebounding from the prior session's losses as investors continued to ponder whether an OPEC-led production cut will be extended through the end of the year.

U.S. crude futures gained 0.67% to $48.05 by 6:57AM ET (10:57GMT), while Brent oil rose 0.63% to $51.22.

That was ahead of the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly report on crude inventories out at 4:30PM ET (20:30GMT).

U.S. futures point to break in losing streak, Fed and data on tap
 

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