US STOCKS-Futures advance ahead of release of Fed minutes

Wed May 21, 2014 7:44am EDT

* Fed meeting minutes due out at 2:00 p.m. EDT

* Tiffany climbs in premarket after results

* Lowe's misses expectations, but sales better in May

* Futures up: Dow 35 pts, S&P 3.75 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures advanced on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track to rebound from a broad selloff in the prior session ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

* The Fed is scheduled to release the minutes from its late April meeting at 2:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), when the central bank looked past a dismal reading on first-quarter U.S. growth and gave a mostly upbeat assessment of the economy's prospects as it announced another cut in its massive bond-buying stimulus.

* New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said on Tuesday inflation should "drift upwards" towards the Fed's 2 percent goal, but a swift climb in inflation was unlikely; Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said the $2.5 trillion in reserves accumulated by banks could be the trigger for more rapid inflation.

* All 10 primary S&P 500 sector indexes fell on Tuesday and nearly three-quarters of Nasdaq-listed names declined, led by losses in the retail sector after disappointing results from Staples and TJX Companies.

* Lowe's Companies rose 1.1 percent to $46 in light premarket trade after the world's second-largest home improvement chain said sales picked up in May and it would maintain its full-year sales growth forecast, even as it reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 3.75 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 e-mini futures gained 35 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 8 points.

* Tiffany & Co jumped 6 percent to $93.50 before the opening bell after the jewelry retailer reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly sales.

* Other S&P 500 companies expected to report Wednesday include Target Corp and Hewlett-Packard.

* With earnings season almost wrapped up, Thomson Reuters data showed that of 470 companies in the S&P 500 that reported through Tuesday morning, 68.3 percent topped expectations, above the 63 percent average since 1994 and a 66 percent beat rate for the past four quarters.

* European shares fell, dropping further from last week's 2014 highs, weighed by BNP Paribas on reports U.S. authorities were seeking to fine the bank.

* MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.1 percent in the wake of the fall in U.S. stocks, as Asian investors continued to keep a wary eye on escalating tensions in Thailand. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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