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TMCNet:  U.S. futures edge higher ahead of FOMC statement; Dow Jones up 0.08% [Forexpros]

[March 19, 2014]

U.S. futures edge higher ahead of FOMC statement; Dow Jones up 0.08% [Forexpros]

(Forexpros Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Investing.com - Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a moderately higher open on Wednesday, as markets eyed the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy statement, due later in the day.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.08% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.10% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.19% increase.

The U.S. central bank was widely expected to continue to roll back its bond purchasing program by $10 billion at the conclusion of its monthly meeting later Wednesday, the first with Janet Yellen at the helm.

Market sentiment had strengthened on Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia isn't seeking "a partition of Ukraine", signaling that Russia's moves in Ukraine would be limited.

The comments came during a speech to a joint session of parliament in Moscow, a day after the president recognized the results of Sunday's referendum in Crimea, which saw a majority of voters chose to split from Ukraine.

Oracle Corp. was likely to be in focus, as shares plummeted 3.50% in pre-market trade after the software maker posted fiscal third-quarter sales and profit below analysts' estimates.

SolarCity Corp. was set to move lower, down 2.68% in early trading, as the solar-power supplier posted fourth-quarter net income of $26.7 million, compared with a loss of $33 million a year earlier.

Adobe Systems Inc. gained 0.23% after hours, as the company said it added online subscribers at a faster-than-projected rythm in the fiscal first quarter.

Elsewhere, the auto sector was expected to be active after General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra apologized for the lives lost in accidents linked to an ignition defect and pledged an aggressive probe into why a recall took so long.


GM shares rose 0.23% in extended trade.

Among financial stocks, JPMorgan dipped 0.05% in late trading after agreeing to sell its physical commodities unit to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included General Mills, KB Home, Guess, ExOne and Vera Bradley, scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed. The EURO STOXX 50 inched up 0.03%, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.02%, Germany's DAX gained 0.32%, while Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.07%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index eased 0.07%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.36%.

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