US stock futures turn positive, Microsoft shares gain

U.S. stocks were set to open slightly lower Thursday after the Federal Reserve during the prior session steered clear of committing to looser monetary policy and lower interest rates for the remainder of 2019.

Dow futures fell 7 points, indicating a negative open of about 10 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were also trading slightly lower.


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Wall Street ended Wednesday trading little changed after the Fed approved a rate cut of one quarter point, but offered little for investors hoping for hints that the central bank would lower borrowing costs further. It continued to describe the U.S. labor market as “strong” and characterized GDP growth as “moderate.”

Commenting on the FOMC’s decision in a press conference, Chairman Jerome Powell said that while the central bank wouldn’t hesitate to impose a “sequence” of interest rate cuts if economic conditions deteriorate, he doesn’t think that’s necessary now.

“If the economy does turn down, then a more extensive sequence of rate cuts will be appropriate,” he said during his post-meeting news conference. “We don’t see that. It’s not what we expect.”

The Fed’s second rate cut of 2019 brings the target range for the federal funds rate is now 1.75% to 2%.

Money managers are following a new round of face-to-face talks between Chinese and American officials, starting in Washington later Thursday.

U.S. negotiators including White House economic advisor Peter Navarro and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have both expressed modest optimism for forthcoming rounds of talks between the world’s two largest economies following a vitriolic August.

President Donald Trump on Aug. 1 announced that the U.S. would impose 10% tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1, but later postponed some of those duties after Beijing retaliated with its own levies.

In terms of data, there will be jobless claims and current account numbers due at 08:30 a.m. ET, and existing home sales due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Source: cnbc.com | Original Link

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