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Market: US futures point to higher open

US futures are pointing to a higher open in the stock market today after ending lower on Tuesday. The Wall Street is trying to leave behind concerns caused by the testimony of the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The S&P futures gained 0.07% to 2,749.50, Dow futures rose 0.07% to 25,448 and Nasdaq advanced 0.19% to 6,929. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed lower on Wednesday, and European stocks are losing ground.

On the European economic front, data from statistical office Insee showed that France’s gross domestic product rose 0.6% in the fourth quarter, after rising 0.5% in the third quarter. France’s consumer price inflation eased to 1.2% in February from 1.3% in January. The Federal Labor Agency data showed that Germany’s jobless claims fell by 22,000 in February and jobless rate came in at 5.4%.

Istat data revealed that Italy consumer price inflation eased to 0.6% in February from 0.9% in January. According to GfK data, the United Kingdom consumer confidence widened to -10 in February from -9 in January, and Germany’s consumer sentiment index slid 0.2 points to 10.8 in March. Data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone inflation slowed to 1.2% in February from 1.3% in January.

On the Asian economic front, survey from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China’s manufacturing PMI fell to 50.3 in February from 51.3 in January. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry data showed Japan’s industrial production declined 6.6% on month in January after rising 2.9% in December. The IHS Markit survey data showed that India’s manufacturing PMI fell to 52.1 in February from 52.4 in January.

The Wall Street is trying to leave behind concerns caused by the testimony of the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

On February 27, US ended lower, with Dow down 1.2% to 25,410.03, Nasdaq fell 1.2% to 7,330.35, and the S&P 500 tumbled 1.3% to 2,744.28. Investors remained concerned on the renewed interest rate hikes after the new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony.

Powell reiterated the Fed’s view to more steadily lift interest rates, which will achieve both of the central bank’s objectives. His testimony still increased concerns about 4 rate hikes in 2018. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index climbed more than predicted in February despite the Commerce Department’s durable goods orders declining at a wider-than-expected pace in January.

Meanwhile, key economic data that will be released today include the weekly Mortgage Bankers’ Association mortgage applications, gross domestic product, the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago’s purchase manager’s index, pending home sales index, and the weekly Energy Information Administration’s petroleum status report.

Celgene shares fell 5.51% in premarket after the non-acceptance of a drug marketing application for a multiple sclerosis treatment by the FDA.

On the corporate front, Etsy stock jumped 16.64% in the premarket after stronger than expected fourth quarter results. Shares of Booking Holdings increased 7.87% in the premarket after better-than-projected results. Hertz Global Holdings stock tumbled 3.95% in premarket after lower-than-predicted fourth quarter results. Celgene shares fell 5.51% in premarket after the non-acceptance of a drug marketing application for a multiple sclerosis treatment by the FDA.

On the earnings front, Lowe’s, TJX Companies, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Analog Devices, Worldpay, Chico’s FAS, Crocs, Office Depot, Salesforce.com, L Brands, Mylan and Box are the key companies due to release their earnings today.

Crude oil futures is down 0.06% to $62.97. Gold is trading up 0.20% to $1,321.30 and silver is up 0.10% to $16.45. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading down 0.29% at 107.02 yen. Against the euro, the dollar is down 0.11% to $1.2219. Against the pound, the dollar is down 0.64% to $1.3818.

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