US STOCKS-Futures slip as investors await Fed minutes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Futures slip as investors await Fed minutes
Credit: © Reuters.

* Futures down: Dow 10 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 4 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped slightly on Wednesday as investors await details of the Federal Reserve's last meeting for clues on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

* The Fed will release the minutes of its Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET (1900 GMT), which could offer clues on whether the central bank will raise rates in March.

* Policymakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, have been stoking the possibility of a rate hike sooner than later. But traders have priced in slim chances of a move until June, even with the backdrop of strong economic data.

* The odds for a hike in March are 22 percent, increase to 47 percent for May, and stand at 69 percent for a move in June, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* Also on investors' minds is how the Fed views uncertainty regarding economic policy under President Donald Trump.

* Trump's promises of tax and regulatory reforms and fiscal stimulus have boosted investors' confidence, helping send Wall Street to record highs. But, the rally has inched along in recent days as investors await more clarity on his plans.

* Wall Street's main indexes hit record intraday highs on Tuesday, the seventh for the S&P 500 in eight sessions, as a clutch of strong results from top U.S. retailers refueled the so-called "Trump rally".

* Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell could offer more clues on the central bank's plans when he speaks in New York at 1:00 p.m. ET.

* Among stocks, Global Blood Therapeutics GBT.O slumped 11 percent in premarket trading after the drugmaker announced a $75 million public offering.

* UPS UPS.N slipped 1.4 percent to $106.25 after Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) cut its price target on the package delivery company's stock.

* Tesla TSLA.O , TJX TJX.N and HP Inc HPQ.N are some of the key companies scheduled to report results on Wednesday.

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 10 points, or 0.05 percent, with 17,773 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 3.25 points, or 0.14 percent, with 89,556 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 4 points, or 0.07 percent, on volume of 18,097 contracts.

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