US STOCKS-S&P 500 edges lower ahead of French election
* Dow up 0.05 pct, S&P 500 down 0.14 pct, Nasdaq down 0.08 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)
* Futures down: Dow 93 pts, S&P 11.5 pts, Nasdaq 28.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Oct 13 U.S. stock index futures were trading at one-month lows on Thursday as Deutsche Bank weighed on financial stocks, while the Federal Reserve's minutes revealed a stronger resolve to raise interest rates soon.
* Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt-listed stock fell 2.5 percent after sources told Reuters that the bank was introducing a hiring freeze as it seeks to cut costs amid a deep strategic overhaul.
* The bank's U.S. shares were down 2.6 percent in heavy premarket trading, dragging down Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.
* Chinese data showed that exports fell sharply in September, reviving concerns about the health of the world's second-biggest economy.
* The Fed on Wednesday released the minutes of its last rate-setting meeting, which showed that several policymakers felt a rate hike was warranted "relatively soon" if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen.
* Traders have ruled out the possibility of a rate increase during the Fed's November meeting, which falls days before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. However, the odds for a December move are at 70 percent, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool.
* Fed Chair Janet Yellen could offer more insight into the central bank's latest thinking when she speaks in Boston on Friday.
* Market valuations will be put to test during the earnings season, with profits of S&P 500 companies currently expected to fall 0.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* The dollar, which has rallied in the past two weeks, was down 0.11 percent on Thursday. Oil prices were largely flat.
* Wynn Resorts is scheduled to report after market close on Thursday, while big U.S. banks will start reporting from Friday.
* Wall Street, where riskier assets have found little favor in the past weeks, closed slightly higher on Wednesday as the Fed minutes did little to alter traders expectations of a rate hike only in December.
* U.S. data on Thursday includes a report on jobless claims, which likely rose last week to 254,000. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET
* Wells Fargo shares rose 1.1 percent after Chief Executive John Stumpf abruptly departed on Wednesday following a sales scandal that damaged the reputation of the once most valuable bank in the world. Futures snapshot at 6:53 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 93 points, or 0.52 percent, with 36,969 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 11.5 points, or 0.54 percent, with 211,072 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 28.25 points, or 0.59 percent, on volume of 33,487 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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