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US STOCKS-Futures higher ahead of Fed meeting
December 13, 2016 / 12:33 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures higher ahead of Fed meeting

* Futures up: Dow 65 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday, ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to raise interest rates for only the second time since the financial crisis.

* While a hike of 25 basis points in the Fed’s target range of 0.25-0.50 percent is priced in, investors will be examining the Fed’s statement and economic forecasts for signs of the central bank’s thinking on how Donald Trump’s election has affected the outlook for growth and inflation.

* The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell on Monday after six sessions of gains, weighed by tech sector stocks, while the Dow closed at yet another record high.

* The Dow is about 1 percent away from hitting the 20,000 mark for the first time ever. The blue-chip index has closed at a record high for 15 days since the U.S. election.

* President-elect Donald Trump’s expected agenda of economic stimulus and reduced taxes and regulations has fueled a market rally, with the S&P 500 rising 5.5 percent since Nov. 8 to Monday’s close.

* Economists polled by Reuters estimate that U.S. import prices fell 0.4 percent in November after having increased for two consecutive months. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

* Oil prices were stable on Tuesday, supported by strong demand in Asia and a supply cut by Abu Dhabi as part of production curbs organized by OPEC and other exporters. Oil prices had hit an 18-month high on Monday on the back of a production cut pact.

* Boeing was up 1.8 percent at $159.99, a day after the aircraft maker raised its dividend and authorized a $14 billion share repurchase.

* Inovalon Holdings slumped 34.1 percent to $9.80 after the healthcare data analytics company’s fourth-quarter revenue forecast came in below expectations.

Futures snapshot at 7:09 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 65 points, or 0.33 percent, with 5,367 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.27 percent, with 124,137 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.5 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 4,621 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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