Stock Futures Hint At Lower Open As FOMC Statement Leaves Investors Divided; Earnings, Jobless Claims Data Too In Focus

 @arjunkashyapa.kashyap@ibtimes.com
on October 31 2013 6:48 AM

After Wednesday’s statement from the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, which was in line with expectations but upset some with the suggestion of an earlier-than-expected tapering of its massive monthly stimulus program, stock futures suggest some correction in prices could be expected on Thursday.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.26 percent and those on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.23 percent, while futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.44 percent.

And in yet another earnings-heavy day, investors will keep an eye on a long line-up of corporate heavyweights.

Those set to announce their results before market hours include Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). After markets close, the companies to be watched include American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and Starbucks Corporation (Nasdaq: SBUX).

In economic data, jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 26 are scheduled to be announced at 8:30 a.m. EDT and will be closely watched by investors to understand the health of the labor market, as this could influence the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision on monetary policy and the future of the $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program.

In Europe and Asia, markets were mixed, seemingly confused by the FOMC’s Wednesday statement, and its perceived lack of a suggestion that the stimulus program would be kept intact for the foreseeable future.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index and France's CAC-40 were trading up 0.07 percent and 0.15 percent respectively while London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.42 percent and Germany's DAX-30 was down 0.17 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.2 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi too dropped steeply down 1.43 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.42 percent while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.87 percent. In India, on the other hand, the benchmark BSE Sensex ended the day up 0.62 percent.

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