March 19, 2014 / 1:10 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures point to slight gains; FedEx, Oracle fall

* S&P 500 comes off two-day rally, near record close

* FedEx and Oracle fall after results, Adobe higher

* Investors don’t expect curve balls in Fed statement

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 2.9 pts, Nasdaq 7.5 pts (Adds FedEx results)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday, putting major indexes on track for a third day of gains, as investors looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

* The S&P 500 looked to open near record levels despite sour notes sounded by weak results from FedEx Corp, an economic bellwether, and Oracle Corp.

* FedEx posted third-quarter results that were below expectations and gave a weak full-year profit forecast, saying it had been significantly hurt by winter storms. The stock fell 0.1 percent to $138.50 in premarket trading.

* Geopolitical concerns remained in view after Ukraine’s acting defense minister said the country’s forces would not withdraw from Crimea after the region voted to join Russia in a disputed referendum.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia, and while no violence was reported as pro-Russian forces took control of part of a Ukraine naval base, investors are concerned that tensions in the region could escalate.

* Technology shares will be in view a day after results from both Oracle and Adobe Systems Inc. Oracle reported revenue that was below estimates, dashing hopes for a sustained turnaround and sending shares down 3.2 percent to $37.61 before the bell. Adobe rose 1.3 percent to $69.40 in premarket after it gave a second-quarter revenue outlook that was ahead of analyst forecasts.

* The Fed will announce its policy decision in a statement at 2:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), concluding a two-day meeting. That will be followed by Yellen’s first news conference as chair.

* The Fed is not expected to deviate from its policy path so far, and analysts said a further reduction in the central bank’s stimulative bond-buying program was largely priced into markets. Still, as the Fed’s stimulus has kept a floor under equity prices, market participants will be attuned to any comments on the speed of future cuts, as well as how soon interest rates might be raised.

* S&P 500 futures rose 2.9 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 futures added 22 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 7.5 points.

* Equities have rallied this week, boosted by easing geopolitical concerns, though trading volumes have been light. The S&P 500 has risen 1.7 percent over the past two days, the best back-to-back performance for the benchmark index since early February, putting it just 0.3 percent away from a record closing high of earlier this month.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co said it would sell its physical commodities business to Swiss trade house Mercuria for $3.5 billion.

* KB Home rose 5.8 percent to $18.70 after the company reported its first-quarter results.

* Google Inc on Tuesday unveiled plans to help develop smart watches and other wearable computers based on its Android mobile operating system. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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