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U.S. Equity Futures Pause After Fed Rally

U.S. stock futures were slightly lower on Thursday, indicating markets will take a breather after the prior day’s Federal Reserve-inspired rally that sent the major benchmarks to the highest closing level since early March.

Later on Thursday, data on jobless claims and the Philly Fed index will help provide a snapshot of the U.S. economy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (YMM5) slipped 9 points, or 0.1%, to 17,981, while those for the S&P 500 index (ESM5) fell 1.85 points, or 0.1%, to 2,090.75. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index (NQM5) inched 0.25 point lower to 4,420.

Fed-fueled jump: The small declines came on the heels of a volatile session on Wednesday, when the indexes erased earlier gains to close markedly higher. The moves came after the Fed, as expected, dropped its pledge to remain “patient” about raising rates, but signaled a slower increase in interest rates than it foresaw just a few months ago.

The central bank cautioned that it will wait to hike rates until it has “seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective over the medium term.”

The dollar dropped against its rivals after the announcement, sliding to its lowest level against the euro in eight days. The greenback recouped some of its post-Fed losses on Thursday, with the ICE dollar index (DXY) up 0.4% to 98.92.

Economic data: Investors will get fresh data on the labor market on Thursday, with jobless claims from the week ended March 14 due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect 290,000 filings for unemployment benefits last week, almost unchanged from the 289,000 the week before.

Current-account figures are also set for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index at 10.am. Eastern. In February, the Philly Fed reading slowed to 5.2, the lowest level in a year, but economists expect a rebound to 8.0 in March.

At 10 a.m., leading indicators for February are due.

Fed speakers: Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo testifies before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Additionally, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher retires on Thursday.

Stocks to watch:Apple Inc.(AAPL) is in the spotlight as it debuts as a Dow Jones Industrial Average component. Shares were up 0.2% in premarket trade. See: What being added to the Dow will do to Apple’s stock.

House builder Lennar Corp.(LEN) reported earnings and revenue that beat analyst expectations, sending the shares up 1.6% ahead of the bell.

After the market closes, Nike Inc. (NKE) is projected to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share.

Williams-Sonoma Inc.(WSM) lost 3.7% in premarket trading after the retailer late Wednesday reported its fourth-quarter adjusted earnings rose 10% to $1.52 a share, in line with Wall Street’s average estimate.

Guess? Inc.(GES) also reported after Wednesday’s closing bell, saying its fourth-quarter earnings declined to $53.9 million, or 63 cents a share. Shares of the fashion retailer jumped 12% after hours on Wednesday, but were unchanged premarket on Thursday.

Amicus Therapeutics Inc.(FOLD) rallied 10% ahead of the open, after the biotech firm reported positive updates from meetings with regulators for a treatment for Fabry disease.

Other markets: European stock markets were higher, keying off the Fed optimism. The Fed statement came out after markets in Europe closed, making Thursday’s session the first chance for regional investors to react to the news. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index was flirting with a record closing high.

Meanwhile, the euro (EURUSD) moved sharply lower to trade at $1.0665, down from $1.0864 on Wednesday. With the Fed meeting out of the way, attention reverted back to the eurozone as negotiations between Greece and its creditors continued, with a meeting on the sidelines of this week’s EU summit. Read: Merkel downplays hopes for Greek deal at European summit.

Asian markets closed mixed, with stocks in Shanghai extending a seven-day winning streak.

Gold rallied.

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U.S. Equity Futures Pause After Fed Rally Reviewed by on . U.S. stock futures were slightly lower on Thursday, indicating markets will take a breather after the prior day's Federal Reserve-inspired rally that sent the m U.S. stock futures were slightly lower on Thursday, indicating markets will take a breather after the prior day's Federal Reserve-inspired rally that sent the m Rating:
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