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US STOCKS-Futures slip as Fed uncertainty lingers
August 15, 2013 / 11:53 AM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures slip as Fed uncertainty lingers

* Jobless claims, consumer prices data on tap

* Cisco, Wal-Mart shares fall after results

* Futures down: Dow 47 pts, S&P 7.8 pts, Nasdaq 18 pts

NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday on continued uncertainty over when, and how quickly, the Federal Reserve will begin to wind down its program to stimulate the world’s largest economy.

* The Fed has been buying $85 billion in bonds each month, boosting stocks and keeping interest rates low. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said Wednesday the U.S. central bank, which meets again in September, should have more evidence about the economy and inflation before it can make a decision to taper.

* Trading volume has been low, as it tends to be in August, with the earnings season winding down and economic indicators presenting a mixed view on growth, complicating predictions about the Fed’s next policy course.

* Traders will eye the Labor Department’s jobless claims data, due for release at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 335,000 new filings compared with 333,000 in the prior week.

* Also due for release at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) is the consumer price index for July, followed by industrial production and capacity utilization data for July at 9:15 a.m. (1315 GMT).

* Energy shares may be in focus as Brent oil prices climb above $111 per barrel to a four-month high on fears that escalating violence in Egypt could affect the Suez Canal or spread in the Middle East. The death toll from nationwide political violence climbed to 525, Egypt’s health ministry said.

* S&P 500 futures fell 7.8 points and were below 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 fell 47 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 18 points.

* Cisco Systems shares fell 7.8 percent to $24.32 in premarket trading a day after the network equipment maker posted earnings and said it would cut 4,000 jobs in the face of uncertain demand for its networking equipment.

* Shares of Wal-Mart fell 1.8 percent to $75 in premarket trading after it posted disappointing quarterly U.S. sales as shoppers were pinched by higher payroll taxes and gas prices.

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