US STOCKS-Futures rise as investors focus on Fed, shrug off oil

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Futures rise as investors focus on Fed, shrug off oil
Credit: © Reuters.

* Futures up: Dow 34 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 11.25 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday as investors shrugged off a drop in oil prices and awaited Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech this week for clues on the next interest rate hike.

* As the U.S. earnings season winds down, investors are focusing on the annual meet of global central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Thursday, for clues on the health of the global economy and Yellen's stand on raising rates.

* Yellen is scheduled to speak on Friday and will use the opportunity to either support or dismiss the perceived hawkish stand that Fed policymakers have taken in recent days.

* Various officials, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have hinted that a rate hike in the coming months was possible.

* Traders' bets of a rate hike in September stand at 15 percent, and rise to 40 percent for December, according to the CME Group's (NASDAQ: CME ) FedWatch tool.

* Data due Tuesday is expected to show new home sales fell 2 percent to a 580,000-unit pace in July compared with June. The data is scheduled to be released at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* Oil prices were off about 1 percent as worries of oversupply trumped hopes of an output freeze. However, the decline was less severe than the 3.4 percent slide on Monday. O/R

* U.S. stocks were little changed at the close on Monday as declines in energy shares following weak oil prices was offset by a rise in biotechnology stocks.

* Shares of Zoe's Kitchen ZOES.N dropped 15.6 percent to $31.45 in thin premarket trading after the restaurant chain operator's second-quarter revenue missed analysts' expectations. Best Buy BBY.N jumped 8.2 percent after the electronics retailer posted a slight rise in quarterly comparable sales.

* Logitech's LOGI.O U.S.-listed shares fell 3.2 percent after UBS downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy".

Futures snapshot at 6:57 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 34 points, or 0.18 percent, with 19,703 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 4.25 points, or 0.19 percent, with 120,048 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 11.25 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 17,654 contracts.

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