US STOCKS-Wall St set to rise after data; Fed minutes due
* Consumer spending up, inflation subdued
* J.C. Penney (Symbol : JCP) shares jump after results
* Priceline stock up on Goldman bullish view
* Futures up: Dow 25 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 11 pts
(Updates prices, adds data)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to rise at
the open on Wednesday after data on spending and inflation gave
the Federal Reserve room to continue its market-friendly
U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in October
and consumer prices unexpectedly fell, while the annual
inflation rate was the lowest in four years, reports
Minutes from the most recent Fed policy-setting meeting, due
at 2:00 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) will be scrutinized for further
clues on the future of a policy that has put the S&P 500 on
track to post its best year in a decade.
"Strength in the economy and subdued inflation pressures
mean the Fed doesn't have to rush to reduce its stimulus," said
Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook
Investments in Lisle, Illinois.
"There's been talk that tapering is coming soon, maybe this
takes some pressure off. The data bodes well for the holiday
shopping season as well," he said.
S&P 500 futures rose 4 points and were above 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 added 25
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 11 points.
The Dow industrials has traded above 16,000 during the last
couple of sessions but has failed to close above that level,
while the S&P faces resistance at 1,800. A solid move above
those levels could further attract investors and money managers
eager to chase performance.
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.
A Reuters poll published before Wednesday's data showed
economists expect the Fed to begin reducing its $85 billion in
monthly bond purchases by March, with a small chance it could do
so as soon as January.
Deere & Co (Symbol : DE) reported higher-than-expected
fourth-quarter profit and forecast 2014 earnings above
estimates. Its shares gained 3.9 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 9.4 percent premarket after it
reported a deeper net loss but said sales were "encouraging" in
November so far.
Priceline rose 2.8 percent in premarket trading
after Goldman Sachs added the stock to its "conviction buy"
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
(c) Reuters 2013. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.