Stock Futures Flat as Investors Seek More Fed Guidance
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed for much of the morning as investors stayed on the sidelines awaiting additional information from Federal Reserve officials about the central bank's decision earlier this week to delay tapering of its economic stimulus.
Futures dropped briefly before resuming sideways trading after St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told Bloomberg TV the central bank could still taper its $85 billion per month bond-buying program as early as October depending on the progress of the economy.
Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.25 points, or 2.66 points above fair value, to 1,717.25. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 8 points, or 19.45 points above fair value, to 15,565. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 4.5 points, or 7.94 points above fair value, to 3,236.75.
"This was a close decision here in September," Bullard said.
U.S. stocks slipped Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 reached new highs driven by the Federal Reserve's pledge to maintain the current pace of its asset purchase program as investors paused to mull over the situation that led to the central bank's decision.
"Investors rationalized that the two justifications presented -- observed tightening financial conditions may slow pace of economic improvement and labor market, and fiscal retrenchment is worrisome -- are in fact potentially burdensome on companies," Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, said in a note.
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