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* Target, Lowe’s jump after better-than-expected results
* Banks rise as U.S. Treasury yields tick higher
* Minutes from Fed’s July meeting due at 2:00 p.m. ET
* Futures up: Dow 0.70%, S&P 0.76%, Nasdaq 0.79% (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)
By Medha Singh
Aug 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Wednesday, as investors cheered upbeat earnings from Lowe’s and Target, while awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting due later in the day.
Shares of home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos Inc jumped 12.4% in premarket trading as it joined bigger rival Home Depot Inc in beating profit estimates.
Big-box retailer Target Corp surged 16.7% after it beat quarterly profit estimates and raised its annual earnings forecast.
The centerpiece for the day will be the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting, when it cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.
“A significant rally will be difficult until traders have clarity on the Fed’s policy path,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst, at OANDA said.
“Today’s release of the FOMC minutes could show how the risks related to global trade could warrant further rate cuts, but traders will likely pay more attention to Fed Chair Powell’s speech on Friday.”
U.S.-China trade tensions have taken a turn for the worse since the Fed’s move last month, adding to economic risks and putting in focus Powell’s remarks at Jackson Hole on Friday.
Powell’s remarks will be scrutinized for clues on what more policymakers are planning to boost growth.
“I think there is an expectation that there will be a dovish tone but I am not sure if he (Powell) is going to offer that. I think he’s going to maintain a very neutral stance,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
While the three main Wall Street indexes ended lower on Tuesday, they have rebounded sharply since last Wednesday’s 3% drop which was triggered by the inversion of the U.S. yield curve, widely viewed as a harbinger of a recession.
The gains were driven by signs that major economies were considering stimulus to boost growth.
At 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 181 points, or 0.7%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.76% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 60.5 points, or 0.79%.
Trade tensions simmered in the background as President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had to confront China over trade even if it caused short-term harm to the U.S. economy.
Data from the National Association of Realtors at 10:00 a.m. ET is expected to show existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units in July, from 5.27 million units a month earlier. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)