US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower ahead of Fed minutes

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower ahead of Fed minutes
Credit: © Reuters.

* Fed April meeting minutes to be released at 2 p.m. ET
* Target falls as sales miss estimates
* Wal-Mart, Costco also fall following Target results
* Tesla up after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) upgrades to "buy"
* Futures down: Dow 56 pts, S&P 5.75 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts

(Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open lower on
Wednesday as a fall in Target's shares weighed on futures ahead
of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's April
Shares of Target TGT.N were down 7.4 percent at $68.20 in
premarket trading after its quarterly sales missed expectations.

Dow-component Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) WMT.N , which reports results
on Thursday, was also down 3.2 percent at $63. Costco Wholesale
COST.O slipped 2.4 percent to $140.13.
The Fed minutes, scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. ET (1800
GMT), could give clues on the path of rate hikes. Dallas Fed
President Robert Kaplan said on Tuesday he will advocate for a
hike in June or July. Two other Fed officials said they expect
up to three rate increases this year.
The central bank next meets on June 14-15 but chances of a
hike in June are slim. Traders see a 58 percent probability of a
rate hike after the Fed's November meeting, up from about 42
percent on Monday, according to the CME FedWatch tool.
Wall Street closed lower on Tuesday as investors boosted
their bets on the central bank raising rates this year.
"The market got jittery yesterday after comments from the
Fed officials but what it's really looking for is comments from
Yellen," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and
derivatives for Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW ) in Austin, Texas.
"I think we could see two rate hikes but September and
December are more likely rather than June."
April data on Tuesday showed the biggest rise in U.S.
consumer prices in more than three years as gasoline prices and
rents rose, while other data showed housing starts and
industrial production rebounded strongly.
The strong data and a recovery in oil prices, which hit
seven-month highs on Tuesday, have stoked expectations that
inflation will rise further. The Fed has a 2 percent inflation
rate target.
S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 5.75 points, or 0.28
percent, with 200,085 contracts traded at 8:36 a.m. ET. Nasdaq
100 e-minis NQc1 were down 9 points, or 0.21 percent, on
volume of 25,195 contracts. Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 56
points, or 0.32 percent, with 30,311 contracts changing hands.
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday downgraded equities to "neutral"
over a 12-month time-frame on growth and valuation concerns,
saying, "until we see sustained signals of growth recovery, we
do not feel comfortable taking equity risk."
Staples SPLS.O edged up 0.1 to $8.29 after the company
reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales, while Lowe's
LOW.N was up 1 percent to $76.90 after the home improvement
chain's quarterly sales came in above expectations.

Tesla Motors TSLA.O was up 2 percent at $208.66 after
Goldman Sachs upgraded the electric car maker's stock to "buy"
from "neutral."

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