US STOCKS-Futures slightly lower as focus turns to Fed meeting

lunes 14 de marzo de 2016 07:29 GYT
 

* Futures down: Dow 10 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 3.5 pts

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday, heading into a busy week that includes the release of a slew of economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy meeting.

* The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates at the two-day meeting, which begins on Tuesday, but investors will be on the lookout for the central bank's comments on the economy and its plan to hike rates amid global economic weakness.

* Central bank intervention has been at the forefront of efforts by major economies to calm financial markets and spark growth at a time when demand and inflation remain low.

* The Bank of Japan began a two-day meeting on Monday and is expected to keep policy unchanged after adopting negative interest rates in late January.

* Crude prices, which have dictated the direction of the stock market this year, fell about 2 percent after Iran quashed hopes of a quick deal by major producers to freeze production.

* Wall Street is coming off a strong rally last week that saw the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average record their best close of 2016 on Friday.

* Steadying oil prices and data pointing to strengthening U.S. economy have helped stocks recover from a steep selloff at the start of the year. The S&P 500 is now down only 1 percent so far in 2016, after falling as much as 10.5 percent.   Continuación...