Stock futures suggest a continuation of Tuesday’s upbeat mood in the markets after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced that there’d be no drastic changes to monetary policy or the central bank’s stimulus program.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.29 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were also up 0.29 percent while those on the Nasdaq were up 0.33 percent. On Tuesday, the Dow climbed nearly 200 points, or 1.22 percent, while the S&P 500 was up 1.11 percent and the Nasdaq rose 1.03 percent.
“Let me emphasize that I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy,” Yellen said in her prepared testimony Tuesday, as part of the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress.
Speaking about the Fed’s monthly bond-buying program, which has propped up markets at home and abroad, she said: “Purchases are not on a preset course, and the Committee's decisions about their pace will remain contingent on its outlook for the labor market and inflation as well as its assessment of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases.”
On the earnings front, Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) and Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) are among those scheduled to declare quarterly earnings before markets open. Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) and Mondelez International Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) are among those scheduled to announce earnings after markets close.
On the data front, a report from the U.S. Treasury on the monthly budget for January is due at 2 p.m. EST.
In Europe, stocks were up yet again, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.51 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.34 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.89 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.59 percent.
In Asia too, markets were up with Japan’s Nikkei-225 up 0.56 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.06 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.47 percent while the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.2 percent, while India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.42 percent.