November 22, 2017 / 2:04 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Oil helps Wall Street futures inch higher

* Fed minutes from Oct meeting expected at 2:00 pm ET

* U.S. crude hits $58 for the first time since July 2015

* HPE shares sink after CEO resignation

* Futures up: Dow 40 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Nov 22 (Reuters) - A jump in U.S. crude prices prodded U.S. stock futures higher on Wednesday, with traders’ eyes on a slide in Hewlett Packard shares after its chief executive said she would leave, as well as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

Trading volumes were thin ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and an early close on Friday, but investors will scrutinize the minutes for Fed’s thinking on inflation for more clarity on what it might do under a new chair next year.

A final quarter-point rise under Janet Yellen next month is almost fully baked in to short-term interest rates, underlining the Fed’s continuing optimism about the economy. But the pace of rises is also slow enough not to scare stock investors who have thrived on a decade of cheap money.

“On this eve of Thanksgiving, the market is attempting to maintain an upward bias with oil prices and the macro news leading the way,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, wrote in a note.

“We look for a fairly mixed to positive session.”

At 8:28 a.m. ET (1228 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.17 percent, with 22,222 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis gained 2.5 points, or 0.1 percent, on 130,840 contracts traded while Nasdaq 100 e-minis rose 9 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 27,045 contracts.

All of Wall Street’s main indexes closed at record levels on Tuesday after a bounce in technology stocks, by far the best performing sector of the market this year.

One blip in that area was the 6-percent drop in Hewlett Packard Enterprise shares in premarket after Chief Executive Meg Whitman said she would leave in February six years into the job.

HP Inc, comprising the computer and printer business that Whitman carved out of the old Hewlett Packard, was also down 4.7 percent after reporting an unimpressive profit.

U.S. light crude jumped nearly 2 percent on Wednesday, hitting $58 a barrel for the first time since July 2015 as a major pipeline cut Canadian deliveries to the United States, where inventories are already said to be falling.

Oil majors Chevron and Exxon both rose half a percent and sector services provider Schlumberger gained 1 percent.

One other big gainer was U.S. tractor maker Deere & Co which rose about 5 percent after reporting upbeat quarterly earnings and issuing a strong profit forecast for the year.

The Fed’s Open Market Committee releases minutes of its October policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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