* Futures: Dow up 19 pts, S&P down 1.25 pts, Nasdaq down
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Feb 15 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Wednesday, ahead of a blast of economic data and a
day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen painted a largely
upbeat picture of the economy.
* Yellen said on Tuesday, before the U.S. Senate Banking
Committee, that delaying interest rate hikes would be unwise,
but did not indicate when the Fed would raise rates.
* Her testimony before the House Financial Services
Committee on Wednesday will be scrutinized for further clues on
when the central bank might pull the trigger.
* Traders have priced in very little chances of a rate hike
at the Fed's March meeting. However, some Fed officials have
said it would be prudent to move sooner than later.
* Three Fed presidents, including William Dudley, are
scheduled to make speeches on Wednesday and their comments will
be closely assessed for further clarity on the opinion of
* Key economic data on tap include reports on monthly retail
sales and on consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT). Data on
industrial output for January is due at 9:15 a.m. ET.
* Wall Street's main indexes have closed at record highs for
the past four sessions, sparked by President Donald Trump's
promise on Thursday of a major tax announcement and fueled by
* World stocks also gained on Yellen's remarks. The dollar
rose for the 11th straight session and hit a near four-week
high. Prices of safe haven gold fell.
* Among stocks, Pepsi inched up 0.22 percent to $10
in light premarket trading after the beverage maker reported a
better-than-expected quarterly profit.
* Dow component Procter & Gamble rose 2.5 percent to
$90.10 after activist investor Trian Fund disclosed a $3.5
billion stake in the consumer products company.
* Fortress Investment surged 28 percent to $7.95
after Japan's SoftBank agreed to buy the company for
* Watchmaker Fossil dropped 18.4 percent to $18.65
after posting fourth-quarter revenue that missed analysts'
Futures snapshot at 7:00 a.m. EDT:
* Dow e-minis were up 19 points, or 0.09 percent,
with 21,246 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.25 points, or 0.05
percent, with 75,078 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or flat
on volume of 16,676 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by