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US STOCKS-Futures higher; Dow marches toward 20,000 mark
December 16, 2016 / 12:34 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures higher; Dow marches toward 20,000 mark

* Futures up: Dow 32 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 6.75 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday, with all three major indexes on track to post weekly gains and the Dow pushing towards the 20,000 mark.

* The Dow came within 50 points of hitting 20,000 for the first time on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in nearly a decade.

* The Fed sees three rate hikes next year instead of the two foreseen in September, partly as a result of the expected economic benefits under President-elect Donald Trump.

* U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8 presidential election, with the S&P rising 5.7 percent on bets that Trump’s plans to deregulate sectors and increase infrastructure spending will boost the economy.

* However, there are some concerns that the “Trump rally” may have gone too far too soon and that valuations are elevated. The S&P 500 is trading near 17.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.

* The strengthening dollar has also raised alarms over the negative effect on earnings of companies with overseas exposure. The dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of currencies, is trading near a 14-year high.

* Economic data on tap for Friday includes housing starts, which is expected to have fallen to 1.23 million units in November from 1.32 million units in October. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

* Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on the economic outlook in Charlotte, North Carolina.

* Honeywell International fell 8.6 percent to $106.28 in premarket trading after the company forecast 2017 earnings largely below estimates.

* Oracle declined 1.8 percent to $40.11 after the business software maker’s adjusted revenue missed analysts’ estimates.

* Adobe Systems was up 2.3 percent at $107.50 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Futures snapshot at 7:06 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 32 points, or 0.16 percent, with 2,704 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.15 percent, with 27,145 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 2,584 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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