US STOCKS-Futures lower as hopes of monetary easing fade

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Futures lower as hopes of monetary easing fade
Credit: © Reuters.

* Futures down: Dow 15 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 7.75 pts

By Abhiram Nandakumar

Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday as investor optimism about central bank easing faded ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting this week.

* The Fed, which meets on Oct. 27-28, is scheduled to issue a statement on Wednesday. Investors will scrutinize it for a bearing on when the central bank could raise rates.

* While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank could raise rates this year, it would do so only if there are clear signs of sustained economic growth.

* Traders are pricing in only a 6 percent chance of rates being increased on Wednesday and a 39 percent chance of a December hike, according to CME Group's (O: CME ) FedWatch program.

* Wall Street closed higher on Friday after a rally in tech stocks helped the S&P 500 to positive territory for the year.

* Strong quarterly results from tech companies helped improve expectations on overall U.S. corporate earnings.

* S&P 500 earnings for the period are now expected to have declined a more modest 2.8 percent, compared with 4.9 percent forecast at the start of the reporting season, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* Data on new U.S. home sales is expected to show a decline to an annual rate of 550,000 units in September after two months of gains. The data is expected at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* Xerox's XRX.N shares were up 1.4 percent at $10.48 in premarket trading on Monday after it reported results and said it would review its operations.

* Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX.N sank nearly 14 percent to $100.50. The company said it would set up a panel to probe allegations about its associations with specialty pharmacy distributor Philador.

* CTRP.O rose 14.3 percent to $85.00 after the online travel firm said it would merge with Qunar Cayman Islands. Qunar jumped 26.5 percent to $50.00.

Futures snapshot at 6:59 a.m. ET:

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 2.75 points, or 0.13 percent, with 90,125 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 7.75 points, or 0.17 percent, on volume of 16,234 contracts.

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 15 points, or 0.09 percent, with 14,195 contracts changing hands.

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