US Stock Futures Up; Fed Decision In Focus
US stock futures were surged in early pre-market trade. The housing starts report for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The FOMC will announce its policy decision at 2:00 p.m. ET, while Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold press briefing at 2:30 p.m. ET. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 42 points to 15,852.00, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 5.10 points to 1,778.10. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index gained 9.75 points to 3,470.50.
A Peek Into Global Markets
European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.83%, London's FTSE 100 index gaining 0.32% and STOXX Europe 600 Index surging 0.78%. German DAX 30 index climbed 0.94% and French CAC 40 Index surged 0.56%. The UK's unemployment rate declined to 7.4% in October.
Asian markets ended mostly higher today. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average surged 2.02%, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 0.13%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.32% and India's BSE Sensex jumped 1.2%. The Reserve Bank of India held its key lending rate unchanged. China's foreign direct investment rose 2.35% y/y to $8.5 billion in in November. Japan's merchandise exports climbed 18.4% y/y to Y5.901 trillion in November, while trade deficit widened to Y1.293 trillion.
Analysts at Bank of America downgraded Avon Products (NYSE: AVP) from “buy” to “neutral.” The target price for Avon Products has been lowered from $22.50 to $18.50.
Avon's shares closed at $16.92 yesterday.
- The Board of Directors of Kraft Foods Group. (NASDAQ: KRFT) declared a regular quarterly dividend Tuesday of $0.525 per share of common stock, payable on Jan. 17, 2014, to shareholders of record on Dec. 27, 2013. To read the full news, click here.
- Opexa Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OPXA) today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 4.12 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $1.70 per share. To read the full news, click here.
- Patterson-UTI Energy. (NASDAQ: PTEN) today announced that it will incur a pretax non-cash charge of approximately $37.8 million (or an estimated $24.0 million after-tax) related to its mechanically powered rig fleet. To read the full news, click here.
- Lennar (NYSE: LEN) reported a rise in its fiscal fourth-quarter profit. Lennar's quarterly profit surged to $164.1 million, or $0.73 per share, from a year-ago profit of $124.3 million, or $0.56 per share. To read the full news, click here.
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