May 24, 2016 / 11:37 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures rise, but focus still on Fed

* Futures up: Dow 52 pts, S&P 7.25 pts, Nasdaq 16 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

May 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday even as investors continue to focus on the timing of future interest-rate hikes.

* Last week, investors were surprised at central bank minutes that opened the door to a rate hike as soon as June. Investors will listen for fresh clues to the Fed’s intentions when Chair Janet Yellen speaks on Friday.

* Wall Street ended lower on Monday as a bounce in Apple failed to offset concerns that the Fed could raise interest rates sooner than later.

* Investors will be keeping an eye on economic data. New home sales, as measured by the U.S. Commerce Department, are expected to have increased 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 units in April. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* The central bank has said it remains data dependent. A strengthening labor market and with inflation creeping towards the Fed’s 2 percent target rate, traders are now pricing in a 30 percent chance of a June hike, up from 4 percent last week.

* Low borrowing costs have helped the stock market enact a spectacular bull run since the 2008 financial crisis. Still, the S&P 500 has gone an entire year without registering a new high.

* Oil fell for a fifth consecutive day on Tuesday on rising production from major exporters and as the dollar strengthened.

* Shares of Toll Brothers were up 3.3 percent at $28 in premarket trading as the company’s quarterly revenue beat expectations.

* Best Buy was down 6.2 percent at $31 after the consumer electronics retailer’s quarterly revenue declined for the third straight quarter. [IS:nL3N18L3IQ]

Futures snapshot at 7:03 a.m. ET:

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.35 percent, with 135,936 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 16 points, or 0.37 percent, on volume of 17,255 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 52 points, or 0.3 percent, with 22,621 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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