US STOCKS-Wall St to open modestly higher; Fed minutes on tap

Wed May 21, 2014 8:40am 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 45 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 9.5 pts (Updates prices, adds Target earnings)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a modestly higher open on Wednesday, with 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 edged up 0.1 percent to $45.58 in 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 5 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 45 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 9.5 points.

* Tiffany & Co jumped 6.5 percent to $93.99 before the opening bell after the jewelry retailer reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results and raised its full-year profit forecast.

* Target Corp reported a 16 percent drop in quarterly profit but showed signs of progress in its efforts to rebuild customer confidence in the wake of a massive theft of payment card data in the United States and a botched expansion into Canada. Shares dipped 0.5 percent to $56.35 in premarket.

* With earnings season nearly completed, 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. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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