(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Wednesday as oil rose and investors awaited the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting on monetary policy.
U.S. crude rose more than 2 percent on renewed hopes of a deal by producers to freeze output and cut a global glut. [O/R]
Investors will parse the minutes to gain insight into the Fed’s thinking on the economy and interest rates.
The market has been grappling with mixed signals from central bank officials, with some supporting an aggressive plan to raise rates, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen has taken a cautious stance.
Adding to the uncertainty was a barrage of mixed data suggesting a recovering U.S. economy could still be susceptible to risks from a weak global economy.
“The market is back to its original conundrum, which is ‘where is the growth?,’” said Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Caron, who expects the stock market to remain choppy, said there were still some lingering concerns about global growth and weak expectations for corporate earnings.
Several Fed officials are slated to speak on Wednesday, including Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Both are voting members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee.
At 8:23 a.m. ET (1223 GMT), Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 21 points, or 0.12 percent, with 27,335 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 2.5 points, or 0.12 percent, with 211,275 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 6 points, or 0.13 percent, on volume of 25,563 contracts
Wall Street fell sharply on Tuesday as investors booked profits from a recent rally, leaving the S&P 500 flat for 2016.
A recent rally - sparked by rising oil, strength in the economy and a cautious Fed - helped stocks recover from a steep selloff that had sent the S&P 500 down more than 10 percent earlier this year.
Cisco (CSCO.O) shares were up 1.1 percent at $27.89 after JP Morgan raised its rating on the stock to neutral.
Allergan (AGN.N) fell 2.1 percent to $231.48, continuing its slide for a second day, after new rules aimed at curbing tax inversions effectively killed its $160 billion merger with Pfizer (PFE.N). Pfizer shares rose 1.6 percent to $31.86.
Monsanto MON.N fell 1.4 percent to $85.46 after the seed company reported a 25 percent fall in quarterly profit.
Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva