US Stock Futures Signal Firm Open Amid Fed Easing Hopes

   on September 12 2012 3:54 AM
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange December 15, 2011. REUTERS

The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Wednesday as investor confidence was underpinned by expectation that the Federal Reserve will announce stimulus measures this week to invigorate the economy and boost growth.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.35 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index were up 0.16 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.18 percent.

The Labor Department will report the import price index, which measures the change in the price of imported goods and services purchased domestically, Wednesday. The index is expected to rise 1.4 percent in August, up from a 0.6 percent decline in July.

The Census Bureau Wednesday will report the wholesale inventories, which measures the change in the total value of goods held in inventory by wholesalers. It is expected to post a 0.2 percent gain in July, up from 0.2 percent decline in June.

On Tuesday, the U.S. markets rose as investor sentiment turned positive amid hopes that the Federal Reserve would announce the monetary easing measures this week to revive the economic growth momentum.

According to data released by the Commerce Department Tuesday, the trade deficit grew to $42 billion in July up from $41.9 billion in June as exports fell 1 percent to $183.3 billion. The wider trade deficit is expected to put additional pressure on the Fed to announce another round of quantitative easing measures in September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.31 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.02 percent.

Most European markets rose Wednesday with investors awaiting Germany's Constitutional Court to approve the euro zone's new bailout fund to help reduce the debt stress faced by the countries in the region. Investors are focusing on Wednesday's ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the fiscal compact. London's FTSE 100 was down 7.59 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 21.80 points and France's CAC 40 advanced 6.29 points.

Most of the Asian markets also rose Wednesday as investors remained hopeful that policymakers in China would announce the monetary easing measures to boost the economy and rejuvenate the economic growth momentum. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin Tuesday, indicated that the government would step up fiscal and monetary measures to support growth.

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