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US STOCKS-Futures edge up day after Fed-sparked Wall St reversal
April 6, 2017 / 11:45 AM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Futures edge up day after Fed-sparked Wall St reversal

* Futures up: Dow 23 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 5.5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

April 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged up on Thursday, a day after Wall Street saw its biggest reversal in 14 months following signals that the Federal Reserve could start unwinding its balance sheet this year.

* Investors also shied away from making big bets ahead of a potentially tense two-day meeting, starting Thursday, between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

* Wall Street has traded in a narrow range since Monday. That ended on Wednesday when the markets rallied after strong private-sector jobs report.

* But the indexes reversed after the minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting showed most policymakers thought the central bank should start trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year.

* The Dow shed a gain of about 198 points to end near the session low, which was a drop of nearly 50 points.

* The minutes also showed Fed officials “viewed equity prices as quite high relative to standard valuation measures,” adding to jitters over lofty valuations as the first-quarter earnings season approaches.

* Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to have risen 10.1 percent. The index is trading at about 18 times forward earnings estimates, above its long-term average of 15.

* U.S. stocks have risen on bets of fiscal stimulus, tax cuts and other pro-growth promises that Trump has made. However, recent setbacks in the new administration’s efforts to push through its plans have led to some investors to question its ability to make good on its vows.

* On Wednesday, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said tax reforms would take longer to accomplish that the healthcare overhaul as the House, Senate and the White House were not on the same page over the policy.

* On Thursday, investors will keep an eye on a report that is likely to show jobless claims slipped to 250,000 last week from 258,000 the week before. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Among the premarket movers was Advanced Micro Devices , which dropped 2.3 percent to $13.85 after Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a “sell” rating.

* Retailer Costco was up nearly 2 percent at $170.25 after reporting March sales, while Bed Bath & Beyond was up 3.4 percent at $39.07 after reporting quarterly results.

Futures snapshot at 7:01 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 23 points, or 0.11 percent, with 30,811 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.11 percent, with 175,080 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 35,299 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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