MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Futures In Holding Pattern As Traders Wait For Yellen

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil companies rise premarket as crude jumps nearly 2%

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U.S. stock-index futures traded in right ranges on Wednesday, with investors erring on the side of caution ahead of what will be closely watched testimony by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, and as they digested the latest political drama rocking Capitol Hill.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30 points, or 0.1%, to 21,397, while those for the S&P 500 added 4 points, or 0.2%, to 2,428.50. Nasdaq-100 index futures climbed 15 points or 0.3%, to 5,734.75.

The small moves come after an indecisive close on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-struggle-for-direction-2017-07-11), when the Dow average rose less than a point, the S&P 500 fell 1.90 points and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3%.

Earlier Tuesday, stocks logged modest losses after Donald Trump Jr. released a series of email exchanges about a June 2016 meeting to discuss potential incriminating information against Hillary Clinton as part of an alleged Russian push to support his father's presidency.

Read:Opinion: Trump Jr. emails should be 'game over' for this White House (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-jr-emails-should-be-game-over-for-this-white-house-2017-07-12)

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Also read: Trump impeachment likelier than ever after Junior's emails, bookie says (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-impeachment-likelier-than-ever-after-juniors-emails-bookie-says-2017-07-12)

The political tensions drove the dollar lower on Tuesday, and the greenback continued to fall against most major currencies on Wednesday. The dollar bought 113.46 Japanese yen , down from Yen113.94 in late Tuesday trade.

Yellen testimony: The dollar could also move later in Wednesday's session, when Yellen begins two days of her semiannual testimony before Congress at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Yellen's opening statement will be released at 8:30 a.m.

Check out:Republicans to press Yellen on plan to reduce Fed's outsize role in economy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/republicans-to-press-yellen-on-fed-plans-to-reduce-its-outsized-role-on-us-economy-2017-07-11)

"Will Mrs. Yellen choose to reinforce the recent more hawkish global central bank speak or will she attempt to pull things back a little?," said Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid, in a note.

See:Is Janet Yellen still calling the tune in financial markets? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-janet-yellen-still-calling-the-tune-in-financial-markets-2017-07-10)

Deutsche Bank expects Yellen "to reinforce the message from the June 14 post-FOMC press conference and continue to guide the market towards an announcement of the beginning of balance sheet normalization at the Sept. 20 meeting as well as a rate hike by year-end," he said.

Read:Jamie Dimon says QE unwind could catch investors by surprise (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jamie-dimon-says-qe-unwind-could-catch-investors-by-surprise-2017-07-11)

In other Fed-related news on Wednesday, the Beige Book comes out at 2 p.m., followed by Kansas City Fed President Esther George giving a speech in Denver at 2:15 p.m. Eastern on the economic outlook and the Fed's balance sheet.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Stock movers: Shares of Apple Inc.(AAPL) could be active after Fast Company reported that the tech giant is working around the clock to fix software bugs in its new flagship iPhone (https://www.fastcompany.com/40439915/a-sense-of-panic-at-apple-as-the-next-flagship-iphones-software-problems-persist).

Snap Inc.(SNAP) was also in focus after the social media company's stock tanked 9% on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-downgraded-to-equal-weight-by-one-of-its-lead-underwriters-2017-07-11), falling further below its initial-public-offering price.

Energy companies advanced in premarket action, tracking a nearly 2% jump in oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-extends-gains-after-upbeat-us-production-data-2017-07-12). Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) rose 2.5%, Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) added 0.7% and Chevron Corp.(CVX) gained 1%.

Shares of Fastenal Co.(FAST) rose 4% ahead of the bell after a well-received earnings report.

Other markets: Asian stocks closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-market-gains-take-a-timeout-as-currencies-rise-2017-07-11), while Europe staged solid gains across the board (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rise-lifted-by-oil-firms-and-burberry-2017-07-12).

Gold rose 0.2% to $1,217 an ounce and all other key metals were also on the rise.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 12, 2017 07:57 ET (11:57 GMT)