Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on
Monday, as markets turned to the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy
setting meeting, scheduled later in the week.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed
to a 0.39% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 44% increase, while
the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.42% gain.
Investors were eyeing the outcome of the Fed's upcoming policy
meeting on Wednesday, with some expecting the bank to announce a
small reduction in the pace of its USD85 billion-a-month asset
Recent signs of improvement in the labor market and last week's
agreement on a two-year U.S. budget deal were seen as removing
obstacles to the winding back of monetary stimulus.
But with the inflation outlook remaining subdued the Fed may prefer
to hold off on tapering stimulus measures until it sees more
indications that the recovery is self-sustaining.
Elsewhere, data showed that the preliminary reading of China's HSBC
manufacturing index ticked down to a three-month low of 50.5 in
December from a final reading of 50.8 in November. Economists had
expected the index to rise to 51.0.
Insurers were likely to be in focus, amid reports American
International Group is nearing a deal to sell its plane-leasing
unit to AerCap Holdings for cash and stock.
The telecom sector was also expected to be active, after the Wall
Street Journal reported that Sprint is looking at a possible bid
for is rival, T-Mobile US. The deal could be worth USD20 billion
and a merger of the third and fourth largest U.S. carriers would
create a huge competitor to industry leaders Verizon Wireless and
In related news, Verizon Communications was reportedly near an
agreement to purchase Intel's Internet-based pay-TV startup.
Verizon shares rose 0.33% in pre-market trade.
Elsewhere, Visa and MasterCard won approval for a USD5.7 billion
settlement that ended years of litigation with U.S. merchants over
allegations that credit-card swipe fees are improperly fixed.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO
STOXX 50 jumped 1.26%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.79%, Germany's
DAX rallied 1.34%, while Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 0.51%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index
retreated 0.56%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index plummeted 1.62%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release reports on industrial
production, manufacturing activity in the New York region and the
balance of foreign and domestic investment in U.S. securities.
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