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Market: US stocks set to open higher, all eyes on Fed

US futures are pointing to a higher open in the stock market today after ending higher on Friday. Traders and investors are looking out at the Fed official speeches regarding plans to hike interest rate.

The S&P futures advanced 0.36% to 2,758.75, Dow futures rose 0.61% to 25,468 and Nasdaq gained 0.30% to 6,930.25. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed higher on Monday, and European stocks are trading higher.

On the European economic front, data from UK Finance showed UK mortgage approvals in January rose to 40,117 from 36,085 last month and gross mortgage lending grew 7.7% annually to GBP 13.8 billion. The services sector survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed strong business volumes growth in the UK services sector. In an interview, Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said a rise in the UK interest rate is likely, somewhat sooner due to acceleration in wage growth.

Qualcomm stock rose more than 2% in the premarket after fresh reports surged that it proposed further price negotiations on Broadcom’s $117 billion offer for the company.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan’s leading index, which measures the future economic activity, declined to 107.4 in December from 108.2 in November, and the coincident index that reflects the current economic activity rose to 120.2 in December from 117.9 in November. The Singapore Economic Development Board data showed Singapore’s industrial production advanced 17.9% annually in January after declining 3.4% in December.

On February 23, US ended higher, with Dow up 1.4% to 25,309.99, the S&P 500 advancing 1.6% to 2,747.30. Nasdaq jumped 1.8% to 7,337.39. The Wall Street rallied due to a continued drop in treasury yields as the Federal Reserve intends for three interest rate hikes in the year.

Meanwhile, the key economic data that will be released today include new home sales, Dallas Fed’s Texas manufacturing outlook survey and the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index. St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard and Fed Vice Chairman Randall Quarles are scheduled to deliver speeches.

Traders and investors are looking out at the Fed official speeches regarding plans to hike interest rate.

On the corporate front, Qualcomm stock rose more than 2% in the premarket after fresh reports surged that it proposed further price negotiations on Broadcom’s $117 billion offer for the company. Shares of Nokia advanced 2.76% in premarket after it struck partnership agreement with China Mobile, to roll out the next-generation 5G networks in a year.

Alibaba Group Holding stock rose 0.65% in premarket after reports speculated that Alibaba is considering buying the remaining stake of Ele.me, a food delivery company. Shares of Mattel fell 2.70% in premarket after brokerage firm Jefferies downgraded the stock to underperform from hold. TAL Education stock plunged 9.09% in premarket after Keywise Capital Management lifted stake in Tal Ed Group by $3.83 million.

On the earnings front, Dean Foods, Scripps Networks Interactive, Fitbit, Eagle Pharmaceuticals and Palo Alto Networks are the key companies due to release their earnings today.

Crude oil future is down 0.19% to $63.43. Gold is trading up 0.73% to $1,340 and silver is up 0.916% to $16.635. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading down 0.05% at 106.739 yen. Against the euro, the dollar is up 0.27% to $1.2327. Against the pound, the dollar is up 0.45% to $1.4026.

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