* Futures up: Dow 8 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 9.75 pts
By Tanya AgrawalMarch 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on
Tuesday as oil prices rebounded and ahead of speeches by a host
of Federal Reserve officials, whose comments will be scrutinized
for clues on the future path of interest rate hikes.
* Sentiment was also boosted after French centrist Emmanuel
Macron's performance in a television debate raised expectations
that he would win the presidential election over the far-right's
Marine Le Pen.
* Global investors have been worried about increasing
protectionism, following the Brexit vote and President Donald
Trump's election. Last week, the G20 leaders dropped a pledge to
keep global trade free and open.
* The market will keep an eye on Fed speakers after the
central bank last week raised interest rates for the first time
this year, but stuck to its outlook for two more hikes this
year, instead of the three expected by the market.
* Bank of Kansas City President Esther George and Cleveland
Fed chief Loretta Mester are scheduled to speak later in the
day, while Boston Fed head Eric Rosengren will release the text
of his speech.
* The Fed is on track to raise interest rates twice more
this year and it could be more or less aggressive depending on
inflation and fiscal policies from the Trump administration,
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Monday.
* Oil prices climbed on Tuesday, helped by expectations that
an OPEC-led output cut would be extended beyond June but gains
were pegged back by concerns about persistently high crude
* Wall Street drifted lower on Monday as investors worried
that Trump's plan to cut taxes and boost the economy could take
longer than previously expected.
* The U.S. stock market has been on a record-setting spree
since the election of Trump, but the rally has faltered in
recent weeks as investors fret about a lack of clarity on his
proposals to reform taxes and cut regulation.
* The economic calendar this week is relatively light, with
only weekly jobless claims and durable goods numbers on the
* Shares of General Mills <GIS.N> slipped 0.8 percent to
$59.80 in premarket trading after the Cheerios maker's quarterly
sales missed expectations. [nL3N1GX3NI]
* Esperion Therapeutics <ESPR.O> was up 1.8 percent at
$41.95 after J.P. Morgan raised its price target.
* Dow-component Nike <NKE.N>, which is due to report
quarterly results after markets close, edged up 0.12 percent to
Futures snapshot at 7:08 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 8 points, or 0.04 percent,
with 15,019 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 3.25 points, or 0.14
percent, with 82,196 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 9.75 points, or 0.18
percent, on volume of 18,271 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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Keywords: USA STOCKS/