US Stock Futures Point To Upbeat Start Following Tuesday's Rally, And Ahead Of FOMC Announcement, Janet Yellen Press Conference

  @arjunkashyapa.kashyap@ibtimes.com on March 19 2014 5:32 AM

Stocks seem set to open on a positive note following Tuesday's rally even as investors await the monetary policy announcement from the U.S. Federal Reserve followed by a statement from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.15 percent, while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.16 percent and those on the Nasdaq were up 0.25 percent. On Tuesday, the Dow climbed 0.55 percent while the S&P rose 0.72 percent and the Nasdaq raced up 1.25 percent.

In earnings, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) are scheduled to declare quarterly earnings before markets open. 

The Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, is scheduled to make a statement about monetary policy following a two-day meeting and it’s widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged. However, investors will attempt to gauge the direction of future policy under the leadership of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen who also is scheduled to speak. The FOMC announcement is due at 2 p.m. EDT followed by Yellen's press conference at 2:30 pm.

In Europe, markets were mostly positive with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.19 percent while the FTSE 100 was flat. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.44 percent while France's CAC-40 rose 0.08 percent.

In Asia, markets were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei-225 rising 0.36 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 moved up 0.21 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.07 percent while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.17 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.13 percent while India’s BSE Sensex was trading down 0.1 percent.

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