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U.S. stock futures hold steady as markets tread water ahead of Yellen

Stock MarketsAug 24, 2016 06:48AM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. stock futures point to flat open as markets look ahead to Yellen

Investing.com - U.S. stock markets pointed to a flat open on Wednesday morning, as investors remained on edge ahead of the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole meeting later this week, while keeping an eye on data, earnings and oil prices.

The blue-chip Dow futures inched up 8 points, or 0.04%, by 6:48AM ET (10:48GMT), the S&P 500 futures tacked on 2 points, or 0.08%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 5 points, or 0.1%.

U.S. stocks rose modestly on Tuesday, as gains in the tech sector helped buoy the Nasdaq to a record intraday high and solid housing market data provided more evidence the economy may be picking up momentum.

More housing data is on tap on Wednesday, with a report on July existing home sales scheduled at 10:00AM ET (14:00GMT).

However, market participants were busy taking positions ahead of Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen’s speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Friday.

Investors will pay close attention to any hint at the future timing of an interest rate hike with odds at 18% for the September meeting and 48.8% in December, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

On the earnings front, HP (NYSE:HPQ), Guess? (NYSE:GES), and Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE:RY) are set to report on Wednesday. Express (NYSE:EXPR), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), and PVH (NYSE:PVH) are also expected to release their latest earnings.

Among active pre-market movers, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares inched higher following the announcement of a new Model S and X.

Shares of La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB) plunged more than 14% ahead of the opening bell after the furniture maker’s quarterly earnings and sales missed expectations.

Shares of Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) slumped 5% after the financial management solutions company provided a weak outlook for the current quarter.

In deal news, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) agreed to purchase part of AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) antibiotics business for up to $1.575 billion plus royalties.

Elsewhere, European and U.K. stock markets were mixed in choppy mid-morning trade Wednesday, as investors trod cautiously ahead of a key speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.

Earlier, Asian shares closed mixed overnight amidst low volumes and a lack of major news, as traders tread water ahead of a speech by Fed chair Janet Yellen.

Meanwhile, oil prices were down more than 1% early on Wednesday, as market players awaited fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 10:30AM ET (14:30GMT) amid expectations for a withdrawal of 455,000 barrels.

U.S. stock futures hold steady as markets tread water ahead of Yellen
 

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