Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on
Thursday, although the Federal Reserve signalled the possibility it
could begin tapering its asset purchase program sooner than
expected, while investors eyed the release of U.S. data later in
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed
to a 0.17% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.12% gain, while
the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.20% increase.
According to the minutes of the Fed's October meeting, policymakers
said they could start scaling back the USD85 billion-a-month asset
purchase program in the "coming months" if the economy continues to
improve as expected.
Sentiment weakened earlier, after data showed that China's HSBC
manufacturing index ticked down to 50.4 in November, from a final
reading of 50.9 in October, missing forecasts for a reading of
Financial stocks were expected to remain in focus for the third
consecutive session, following reports Goldman Sachs' revenue from
its currency-trading unit slumped during the third quarter. Goldman
Sachs shares were still up 0.21% in after-hour trade.
On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase, up 0.09% in extended trading, reached a
record USD13 billion settlement with federal and state authorities
to resolve claims over its sales of mortgage-backed securities
during the housing crisis.
Elsewhere, Google was little changed in pre-market trade after
Chairman Eric Schmidt said protecting Internet traffic with
hard-to-crack code may prevent governments from censoring their
populations' communications within a decade.
Microsoft was up 0.05% in early trading, a day after Nokia Oyj
investors were said to have cleared the sale of its mobile-phone
unit to the U.S. company in a USD7.4 billion deal.
Other stocks expected to be in focus included Target, Dollar Tree,
Abercrombie & Fitch and Gamestop, scheduled to report earnings
later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO
STOXX 50 slipped 0.25%, France's CAC 40 retreated 0.39%, Germany's
DAX shed 0.26%, while Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.07%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index
declined 0.51%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rallied 1.92%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was release data on producer price
inflation, as well as the weekly report on initial jobless claims
and data manufacturing activity from the Philly Fed.
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