Stock futures steady ahead of Fed minutes

By Kate Gibson and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock futures were little changed Wednesday as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting and possible clues as to monetary-policy moves ahead.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average

/quotes/zigman/11753302 DJU3

 rose 15 points to 15,237, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index

/quotes/zigman/6486361 SPU3

 were flat at 1,645.60. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index

/quotes/zigman/10264866 NDU3

 added 1 point to 2,975.25.


The Fed will release the minutes of the June 18-19 Federal Open Market Committee meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern time. At a press conference following the last meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could start reducing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases later this year. See preview.

Bernanke will speak at a conference on Wednesday to discuss the Fed’s first 100 years, with a question-and-answer session to follow. The speech will begin shortly after Wall Street’s regular session closes.

At 10 a.m. Eastern, the government will release its wholesale-inventories report for May.


“We’ll be at new highs for the S&P over the next day or two,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

Wall Street stocks rose Tuesday with the S&P 500

/quotes/zigman/3870025 SPX

 coming within 1% of its all-time closing high. The S&P 500 added 11.86 points, or 0.7%, on Tuesday to 1,652.32, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average

/quotes/zigman/627449 DJIA

 climbed 75.65 points, or 0.5%, to 15,300.34.

On Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note

/quotes/zigman/4868283/delayed 10_YEAR

 held steady at 2.637%.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co.

/quotes/zigman/229301/quotes/nls/hpq HPQ

 rose 3.1% in premarket trading after Citigroup upgraded the PC maker and Dow component to buy from sell, saying there is upside of 25% to 30% from current levels.

An employee wearing a self-made cardboard mask works inside a bicycle factory in Zaozhuang, Shandong province, June 9, 2013.

Yum Brands Inc.

/quotes/zigman/303422/quotes/nls/yum YUM

 is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, according to a survey by FactSet.

Family Dollar Stores Inc.’s

/quotes/zigman/226252/quotes/nls/fdo FDO

 shares gained 3.1% after the discount retailer reported quarterly results.

Fastenal Co.

/quotes/zigman/71860/quotes/nls/fast FAST

shares fell nearly 1% after the maker of fasteners, bolts and other construction supplies reported quarterly revenue that fell short of estimates.

Stocks in Europe declined; Italian stocks were under pressure after Standard & Poor’s cut the country’s sovereign debt rating to BBB late Tuesday. Stocks in China saw volatile trading after the country reported an unexpected drop in exports.

Gold rose as the dollar fell across the board, dropping to around 100 yen. Simon Smith, head of research at FxPro, said in emailed comments that yen gains are being driven by a growing belief that the Bank of Japan will “sound a more bullish tone on the economy” at a meeting this week.

Crude oil shot above $105 a barrel after weekly U.S. crude-supplies fell by more than double the amount analysts had expected. Worries about instability in Egypt also supported the rise in the oil price.



: U.S.: CBOT

Volume: 35.00

July 10, 2013 8:03a



: U.S.: CME

Volume: 1,034

July 10, 2013 8:14a



: U.S.: CME

Volume: 44.00

July 10, 2013 1:06p



: S&P Base CME

Volume: 128.99M

July 10, 2013 11:09a



: DJ-Index

Volume: 32.22M

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: ICAP Sovereign Debt

Volume: 0.00

July 10, 2013 10:53a



: U.S.: NYSE

Volume: 17.80M

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: U.S.: NYSE

Volume: 407,363

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: U.S.: NYSE

Volume: 4.11M

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Rev. per Employee




: U.S.: Nasdaq

Volume: 1.95M

July 10, 2013 11:08a

Rev. per Employee


Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.
Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid. Follow her on Twitter @MWBarbaraKollmeyer.