US STOCKS-Futures flat as data, Fed minutes awaited
* J.C. Penney (Symbol : JCP) shares jump after results
* Priceline stock up on Goldman bullish view
* Futures: Dow off 10 pts, S&P down 1 pt, Nasdaq up 2 pts
(Updates prices, adds comment, byline)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were
little changed Wednesday ahead of the release of
stimulus-sensitive inflation data and the minutes from the most
recent Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a speech late Tuesday that
echoed dovish comments by his nominated successor, Janet Yellen,
said the U.S. central bank will maintain its ultra-easy monetary
policy for as long as needed. The policy has been a pillar of
the current rally in equities.
Minutes from the Fed's late October meeting will be released
at 2:00 p.m. (1900 GMT).
The U.S. Labor Department releases its Consumer Price Index
for October at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists surveyed by
Reuters expect an unchanged reading compared with a 0.2 percent
rise in September. Excluding food and energy, CPI is expected to
have risen 0.1 percent, the same gain as in September.
"It's a big day for data. The Fed seems to be concentrating
on inflation and we'll get some of those numbers today," said
Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital
Group in Pittsburgh.
She said an indication of subdued inflation could help keep
Fed stimulus in place well into 2014.
Real earnings and retail sales for October are also expected
at 8:30 a.m. while September business inventories are due at
10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT).
S&P 500 futures fell 1 point and were slightly below
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 10
points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2 points.
Deere & Co (Symbol : DE) reported higher-than-expected
fourth-quarter profit and forecast 2014 earnings above
estimates. Its shares gained 4 percent in premarket trading.
Shares of home improvement chain Lowe's (Symbol : LOW) fell 2.9
percent in premarket trading after it reported a rise in
quarterly profit that slightly missed analysts' expectations.
J.C. Penney (Symbol : JCP) gained 6 percent premarket after it
reported a deeper net loss but said sales were "encouraging" in
November so far.
Priceline rose 2.5 percent in light premarket
trading after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "conviction
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum and
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