Futures rise after two straight day of steep losses


(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday, after two days of steep losses, boosted by a controversy-free State of Union speech by President Donald Trump, with investors turning their focus back to quarterly earnings and monetary policy. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its biggest two-day drop since September 2016 over Monday and Tuesday as U.S. Treasury yields surged to near four-year highs on expectations of global central banks lowering stimulus. The pace of the increase in yields, rather than the rise itself, has hurt stock markets. A rise in yields raises borrowing costs and give traders an alternative investment option. The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting ends on Wednesday and its statement at 2 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) could shed light on the central bank’s economic and interest rate hike outlook. Currently, three rate hikes for the year are priced in. While analysts do not expect a rate hike, they expect the Fed to strike a more hawkish tone at the meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s last. At 7:04 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 90 points, or 0.35 percent, with 41,952 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 9 points, or 0.32 percent, with 174,673 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 20.75 points, or 0.3 percent, on volume of 42,024 contracts. U.S. stock index futures drifted higher late on Tuesday as Trump gave his State of the Union address. Among other comments, Trump said he wanted legislation to generate at least $1.5 trillion for infrastructure spending and revisited a campaign promise to lower drug prices. Among stocks, shares of Boeing (BA.N) rose 3.6 percent premarket after it reported a higher core profit and said it expects to deliver more planes this year. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O) was up 2.1 percent a day after the chipmaker’s fourth-quarter results handily topped forecasts. Electronic Arts (EA.O) jumped 7.8 percent after the videogame maker forecast fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates. Earnings so far have been stronger than expected. S&P 500 earnings growth is now forecast at 13.2 percent, up from 12 percent a month ago. Among companies that have reported so far, 80 percent are exceeding analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Facebook (FB.O) are due to report results after the closing bell. The ADP’s national employment report at 8:15 a.m. ET is expected to show private payrolls increased by a smaller 185,000 in for January, compared with 250,000 jobs in December. The data comes ahead of the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls data on Friday. Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Benagaluru; Editing by Savio D’SouzaOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Source: Reuters