US Futures Cautiously Higher Ahead of Fed's Two-Day Meet This Week


U.S. stock futures were slightly higher by half a percent on Monday, ahead of the Federal Reserve policy-makers' two-day meeting starting tomorrow at which some economists say they could opt to start tapering the $85-billion-a-month asset purchasing program on the back of economic data, including unemployment dropping to a 5-year low in November to 7%. More economists still expect nothing to happen until incoming Fed chairman Janet Yellen takes over from Ben Bernanke next year.

Meanwhile, out this morning was the New York State December manufacturing survey, which improved to 0.98 from -2.21 although it missed estimates of 4.50, and Q3 non-farm productivity, which rose to 3% compared to the 2.9% estimate. Labor costs fell 1.4%.

In equities, Sprint ( S ) rose more than 4% pre-bell on reports it is planning a bid for T-Mobile US ( TMUS ), potentially valued at more than $20 billion. Also, insurance company American International Group ( AIG ) said aircraft leasing company AerCap Holdings ( AER ) is acquiring its International Lease Finance Corporation for $5.4 billion in cash and shares. AIG added nearly 3% pre-bell and AER was higher nearly 34%. Twitter ( TWTR ) was down almost 2% after gaining nearly 30% last week on the back of expectations for improved advertising sales.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: AER , AIG , S , TMUS

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