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U.S. futures inch up ahead of data that could affect Fed rate hike odds

Stock MarketsMay 31, 2016 06:59AM ET
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© Reuters. Wall Street futures edge forward with key data on tap

Investing.com - Wall Street futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Tuesday after the long Memorial Day weekend and as markets looked ahead to a slew of data that may help define the timing of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) next move in the tightening of monetary policy.

The blue-chip Dow futures edged forward 12 points, or 0.07%, by 10:56AM GMT, or 6:56AM ET, the S&P 500 futures was unchanged, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 5 points, or 0.10%.

The gains came after Wall Street closed on Friday with the biggest weekly gains since March in the case of the Dow and S&P, and since February in regard to the Nasdaq, even after Fed chair Janet Yellen indicated that a rate hike was likely appropriate “in the coming months”.

With the chances for a summer rate hike in June or July depending on whether the economy could continue to chug along and with the release of the monthly employment report at the end of this week, market participants were set to eye a string of data on Tuesday that could further heighten expectations for Fed action.

The Commerce Department will release its core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index for April, along with personal income and spending for the same month at 12:30GMT or 8:30AM ET.

Afterwards, data on business activity in the Chicago region is due at 13:45GMT or 9:45AM ET, followed by the Conference Board’s report on May consumer confidence at 14:00GMT or 10:00AM ET.

Meanwhile, oil prices showed mixed trade on Tuesday, hovering near the $50 psychological level ahead to a key meeting of major oil producers later this week. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet on Thursday in Vienna although no dramatic announcement on a production cut is expected.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.26% to $49.46 by 10:58AM GMT, or 6:58AM ET, while Brent oil traded down 0.50% to $50.10.

In company news, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) reached an agreement with unions to include 1,400 new jobs along with salary increases in order to end a nearly seven-week strike.

Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) jumped almost 6% in the pre-market after announcing its new Beer Bar which allows consumers to make home-crafted beer using sparkling water and a beer concentrate.

Elsewhere, European stock markets were marginally lower, but held near the prior day’s one-month peak as key euro zone inflation data and unemployment data came out in line with expectations ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision on Thursday.

Earlier, shares in Asia closed mostly higher, led by strong gains in China, where the CSI 300 surged 4% and the Shanghai Composite advanced 3.5% as investors bet that MSCI will add mainland shares to its index for the first time next month.

Meanwhile, the dollar index dipped slightly at 95.66, remaining within striking distance of a more than two-month high of 95.95 struck in the previous session.

U.S. futures inch up ahead of data that could affect Fed rate hike odds
 

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