Futures steady ahead of expected rate hike
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* Bank stocks edge higher ahead of expected rate hike
* Fed policy statement due at 2 p.m. ET
* Nike falls as margins, forecast disappoint
* IBM gains on UBS upgrade to "buy"
* Futures up: Dow 0.12 pct, S&P 0.16 pct, Nasdaq 0.20 pct
By Amy Caren Daniel
Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on
Wednesday, with bank stocks among the gainers, ahead of a widely
expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
Shares of JPMorgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo
, Bank of America and M&T Bank were up
between 0.14 percent and 0.60 percent in trading before the
With a third rate hike all but certain and chances of a
fourth increase in December firming, after robust consumer
confidence data on Tuesday, investors are focused on whether
healthy economic growth will prompt the Fed to ramp up the pace
of monetary tightening.
Some analysts are expecting a more aggressive tilt, whether
it comes in the policy statement at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), the
accompanying economic and interest rate projections, or at Fed
Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference.
"It's no secret that a rate hike is looming and most likely
a Fed that is ready and willing to end an accommodating interest
rate era," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan
Capital Securities in New York, wrote in a note.
"The question facing investors is how will the bond market
react: 'will yields skyrocket?' Initially we don't think so, but
a steady long rise should be expected resulting in a challenge
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields have been hovering
at the key 3 percent level, a shade below their seven-year peak
of 3.128 percent hit on May 18.
Higher bonds yields makes shares less attractive, especially
those of high-dividend paying companies such as utilities, real
estimate and telecoms. Utilities fell on Tuesday, weighing on
At 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or
0.12 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or
0.16 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.25 points,
or 0.2 percent.
Dow component Nike's shares fell 2.7 percent after
the company posted a small rise in quarterly gross margins and
left its 2019 forecast unchanged.
IBM rose 1.6 percent after UBS upgraded the stock to
"buy", saying it expects the company's revenue to fare better
At 10 a.m. ET, the U.S. Commerce Department will likely
report that new home sales rose 0.5 percent to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in August.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru)
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