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U.S. Futures Mixed; Fed Meeting, Oracle Eyed

Stock MarketsJun 16, 2021 07:07AM ET
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By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are seen opening mixed Wednesday, in tight trading ranges ahead of the conclusion of the latest two-day Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting. 

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow futures contract was down 40 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 futures traded 2 points, less than 0.1%, lower, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 15 points, or 0.1%.

Wall Street pulled back from record levels during Tuesday’s trading session, with the broad-based S&P 500 closing 0.2% lower after hitting an all-time high earlier in the day. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite underperformed, falling 0.7%.

The Federal Reserve is not expected to take any action this time round, but it may well flag the pending start of talks about when and how to exit from crisis-era policies put in place at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The major indexes are all trading near record levels as the U.S. economy shows strong signs of recovery as the successful vaccination program allows businesses to reopen, while customers take advantage of the hefty stimulus packages the government has implemented.

Rating agency Fitch lifted its growth forecast for the U.S. late Tuesday, now seeing gross domestic product rising 6.8% in 2021, from 6.2% previously.

“The effect of the U.S. March stimulus has become clearer, including its contribution to the boom in U.S. consumer durables spending, now a staggering 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels,” said analysts at Fitch, in a note. 

Also of interest Wednesday will be the meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Among the range of topics the two sides are likely to discuss is likely to be the ransomware attacks by criminals reportedly linked to Russia, which have twice recently  targeted critical American infrastructure.

The economic data slate centers on the U.S. housing market later Wednesday, with housing starts and building permits data due for May.

In corporate news, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) stock will be in focus after the business software maker forecast current-quarter profit below estimates, as it ramps up investments in its cloud computing business to take on its large rivals.

Crude oil prices pushed higher again Wednesday, with Brent, the international benchmark, recording its fifth consecutive gain as falling stockpiles and a recovery in demand boosted sentiment.

By 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude was up 0.3% at $72.33 a barrel, after rising 1.7% Tuesday, while Brent was up 0.5% at $74.32, having risen 1.6% the previous session. 

Helping the tone Wednesday was the release late in the previous session of  U.S. crude oil stocks from the American Petroleum Institute, which showed a draw of just over 8.5 million barrels for the week ending Jun. 11. 

Crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later in the day, and if the official body was to record a similar fall in inventories it would be the largest decline since January.


U.S. Futures Mixed; Fed Meeting, Oracle Eyed

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justin namon Jun 16, 2021 7:23AM ET
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